Bad Astronomy

My Dragon*Con 2013 Schedule

dragoncon logo

Art by Dragon*Con.

From Aug. 29 – Sep. 2, 2013, I’ll be in Atlanta Georgia attending the annual Dragon*Con convention! This is one of my favorite events of the year: A vast, sprawling meeting of fans of every kind of fiction genre around. But that means lots of folks interested in space and astronomy are there, too, so there’s a solid variety of fact and fiction represented. It’s always a fantastic time. Exhausting, but wonderful.

I’m doing several panels and shows, and even giving a talk this year. My schedule is below. If you’re going to D*C, drop by one of these events and say hi! Reminder: There’s a handy online app to find panels, panelists, and events; you can find me there. There are also PDFs of the program and scheduling grid, too.


Atlanta Star Party

Every year, I participate in the Atlanta Star Party, which has talks by astronomers and star gazing (weather permitted). It’s a lot of fun, and this year we’re raising money for Cosmoquest. It’s currently sold out, but there’s a waiting list.

Logistics: Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Emory Math & Science Center, 400 Dowman Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322.

But I Play One on TV

I’ll be on a panel with My Close Personal Friend™ and Mythbuster Adam Savage, where we’ll be swapping stories about communicating science to the public. It’s moderated by Veronica Belmont, who also is awesome.

Logistics: Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom


Incoming! There’s an Asteroid With Earth’s Name on It


Asteroids are one of my favorite topics, and I’ll be on a panel with geophysicist (and “Stargate: Universe” science advisor) Mika McKinnon talking impacts and how to prevent them.

Logistics: Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Hilton 309-310

Quiz-O-Tron 2000

Every year, Skepchick Rebecca Watson hosts a raucous and, um, adult-themed science quiz show. This is always very funny and a great time. Other scheduled panelists are Jon David Hotchkiss, Drew Curtis, Joseph Scrimshaw, and Ken Plume.

Logistics: Friday at 10:00 p.m. in Hilton 204-207

CosmoQuest Booth

I’ll be loitering at the CosmoQuest booth with Dr. Nicole Gugliucci and Dr. Pamela Gay, chatting with folks and available to sign things if you have them (I won’t have books with me). Stop by and say hi!


Logistics: Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the CosmosQuest booth in the Hilton, near the Grand Ballroom (where the Walk of Fame used to be). 

Gonzaroo II

This is Ken Plume’s ridiculously fun variety show, which features comedy, music, and overall goofiness. Last year I did a short comedy bit with Joseph Scrimshaw, and this year, well, who knows? I’ll be there for the first part, since I have another panel that overlaps the second half of the show.


Logistics: Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the Marriott Main Atrium Ballroom.

The Kevin & Phil Show

Astronomer Dr. Kevin Grazier (science advisor for “Battlestar Galactica”, “Defiance”, and the upcoming flick “Gravity”) and I chat informally (and usually quite snarkily) about stuff. This year’s topic is “Space in the Time of Sequester”, but we generally go way off topic in this discussion. We’ve done this every year now for several years, and it’s turned into something of a fan-favorite, to our delight.


Logistics: Saturday at 10:00 p.m. in the Hilton Grand Ballroom West

10 (or so) Amazing Facts About Our Solar System

My first ever stand-up talk at Dragon*Con! I’ll go over the objects in our solar system, picking out one thing about each that amazes me personally. They probably will you, too. This is aimed at the general audience, and as usual, I’ll show pretty pictures, talk cool science, and make several dumb jokes and brilliant puns.


Logistics: Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in Hilton 309-310

Gonzo Game Show IV: The Quest for Quiz

Another Ken Plume extravaganza, where well-known panelists are asked silly questions, try to figure out if other panelists are lying, and are forced to sing (I had “Rocket Man” as my song last year, which I botched gloriously). Rumor has it there will be an improv competition this year. This is a great way to wrap up the con’s last official night, unless enjoying yourself is something you don’t enjoy.

That’s it! As usual I’ll be everywhere during my off-panel times, wandering the floor, fanboying over science fiction doyens and doyennes, and generally having a terrific time.