A community of science hackers


The first Science Hack Day was held in London in June of 2010. Since then, dozens have followed, all across the world. In fact, this weekend, there’ll be a Science Hack Day in Guelph as well as Boston. We’re planning to set up a video portal between the two sites!

Yesterday, David Harris launched a beautiful website that will connect people interested in science hacking, citizen science, and changing scientific practices on a grander scale. wehackscience.org features forums, news articles, and resources for this community. Check it out!

Hack ideas wiki highlights

Science Hack Day Boston is now less than a week away, and some participants are starting to plan their hacks! There’s over a dozen on the wiki now, including:

Got an idea? You can make an account and add it to the wiki here.

Curious about Science Hack Day? Come watch the presentations

If you only have a limited amount of time this weekend, but want to see what Science Hack Day is all about, we welcome you to come watch the final hack presentations at 2pm Sunday 10/20 in room B-103 of 52 Oxford Street (Harvard Northwest Building). No registration is required for this!

If you can come hack with us, registration is here!

Speakers confirmed!

We’re pleased to announce a fantastic lineup of speakers for the morning of Saturday, October 19th! Each of these presenters will be giving a brief 10-minute talk to inspire hacking.

We’ll also be encouraging all interested participants to come prepared with a 90 second pitch for a specific hack.

DanNovyDan Novy
Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab
Science Fiction to Science Fabrication -or- Pulp to Prototype
Science Fiction to Science Fabrication combines the analysis of classic and modern science fiction with the fabrication of actual physical prototypes or code-based interpretations of the technologies depicted therein.

michaelbaymMichael Baym
Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School
“Real science from consumer parts”
Consumer equipment (cameras, office machines, smart phones, etc.) are become so cheap and powerful they now rival or exceed specialized laboratory equipment. We’ll look at some examples of how hacked together devices are being used in scientific research, and perhaps get inspired.

MelissaLewisMelissa Lewis
Center for Open Science
The Role of F/OSS in Scientific Collaboration
The Center for Open Science builds free infrastructure to improve documentation, archiving, openness, and collaboration in scientific research using exclusively free and open source software. This talk will briefly describe what we’ve already built and what we hope to build in the future (including this weekend)!


Sikander Hayat
Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School
Make phylogenetic trees more fruitful
Multiple sequence alignments are essential for many computational biology methods. I propose to visualize them on an interactive 3d sphere instead of conventional 2d plots.



Buz Barstow
Burroughs Wellcome CASI Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School
“Bacteria that Eat Electricity”
Bringing together the efficiency of electronics with the flexibility of biological metabolism to make photosynthesis better.


Christina 200x200Christina Szalinski, PhD
Science Writer and Program Coordinator, American Society for Cell Biology
“Reassessing Research Assessment”
Funding agencies, institutions that employ scientists, and scientists themselves, all have a desire, and need, to assess the quality and impact of scientific outputs. But how can we assess research output accurately?


jgmJose Gomez-Marquez
Director, Little Devices lab
“Hacking Medical Technology”
Learn to use constructions sets, toys, and everyday parts to create DIY medical technology, around the world and at home in America. Our lab brings together antibodies, Legos, remote control cars, and people from all backgrounds to make healthcare more affordable and more accessible.

Our location: an unusually beautiful basement

Whale skeletons above the hallway from the Northwest building entrance to the B-100 space.

Whale skeletons above the stairway from the Northwest building entrance to the B-100 space.

Yes, we are hosting Science Hack Day Boston in a basement. But what a basement!

When we visited it today, the skylit B-100 space was being set up for a reception, but you can see a shot of its normal configuration here. There’s also an adjacent lecture hall for introductory talks, pitches, and final presentations.


A list of all the hacks from Science Hack Day SF!

Science Hack Day SF - photo by Matt Biddulph

Science Hack Day SF – photo by Matt Biddulph

Last weekend (September 28-29th) was Science Hack Day SF! The San Francisco event has been consistently awesome since its inception in 2010, and this year was apparently no exception. You can check out the list of all the completed hacks (annotated with awards won) here.