Friend a Day – Bridget Landry
CONvergence week continues!
Today’s friend a day was a Guest of Honor at CONvergence almost by accident. We went looking for a scientist from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and received a few suggestions. Knowing nothing about any of the people suggested, we decided to invite Bridget.
Boy was that a good decision.
Bridget is an honest to goodness rocket scientist who loves sharing her work with others. Her presentations on the latest Cassini data are always extremely popular. When they don’t make it on the official schedule, she does a guerrilla panel that often has more people than some official panels.
What makes her presentations work is her effusive personality. She thinks this stuff is wicked cool and that helps teach other people that it is, in fact, wicked cool.
Her enthusiam makes science accessible to laypeople, which is something I think is extremely important. When she does her Cassini presentation or her and Dr. Jim Kakalios rip apart the science in Mission to Mars, she is making science interesting and fun.
What makes her the perfect fit for CONvergence is the fact she truly is one of us. In addition to having one of the coolest jobs ever, she is an amazing costumer who shows up at every con with at least a half dozen costumes. I’m not sure I’ve actually seen her in regular street clothing.
She gets into the spirit of the convention in a way that makes her a delight to have around.
There have been a couple of years where Bridget came to the convention even though she was not an official guest of honor and even in those years, she was remarkably generous with her time. She has a mission, I think, to share her work with anyone who will listen and the good news is there area lot of people who will listen.
She’s not at the convention this week, which is a shame. She’ll be missed. I look forward to her next visit.