Contact Us

Molly BentleyMolly Bentley
Executive Producer and Co-Host, Big Picture Science

Molly oversees the production of Big Picture Science. She has worked as a science journalist for the BBC, including World Service, Radio 4 and Science/Nature Online. She has also written for New Scientist. She teaches a course on radio writing and podcast production at the University of California, Santa Cruz Science Writing Program.

She’s been an invited participant to a number of workshops about helping scientists communicate more effectively with reporters, including the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, Switzer Environmental Fellowship workshop, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Science Communication Workshop, sponsored by the Metcalf Institute and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

She attended M.I.T.’s Knight Science Journalism workshops in 2007 and 2010. Her radio career began when she wandered into Wisconsin Public Radio and landed a job answering the phones for the early-morning call-in show, then graduated on to less insane hours as assistant producer of the national radio magazine, To the Best of Our Knowledge.

Seth ShostakSeth Shostak
Host and Producer, Big Picture Science
Senior Astronomer, SETI Institute

Seth is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. For much of his career, Seth conducted radio astronomy research on galaxies, and has published approximately fifty papers in professional journals. He also founded and ran a company producing computer animation for TV.

Seth has written several hundred popular magazine and Web articles on various topics in astronomy, technology, film and television. He has edited and contributed to a half dozen books. His first popular tome, “Sharing the Universe: Perspectives on Extraterrestrial Life” appeared in 1998. He has also authored “Life in the Universe” (2006, 2nd edition, textbook, with Jeff Bennett) and “Cosmic Company” (2003, with Alex Barnett). His most recent book is “Confessions of an Alien Hunter” (2009).

Gary NiederhoffGary Niederhoff
Senior Producer, Big Picture Science

Gary Niederhoff is a member of a group of visitors from Vega who are tired of being referred to as “vegans” (the preferred term is “Vegamatic”).

Gary joined the staff of Big Picture Science in order to learn more about both the human understanding of science and the basics of pun construction. Seth and Molly have learned that he will also edit audio, write blog posts, and book guests in exchange for coffee and M&M’s. His voice is frequently heard on the show, sometimes depicting historical figures such as Galileo, Einstein, and Archimedes, and other times portraying such lovable characters as ‘spacey lawyer’, ‘Dan the computer’, and ‘egg’.

Gary has worked in community radio in the bay area for nearly 25 years, producing on-air programs as well as administering fund raising activities and station events. He spends his spare time communicating telepathically with his cats, from which he’s learned that birds are very interesting and that tuna is delicious.

Barbara VanceBarbara Vance
Operations Manager, Big Picture Science

Barbara obtained her Masters degree in Library Science a very long time ago and spent many years in many roles in public libraries and as a product manager for a library automation company.

At the SETI Institute, she worked in the fundraising department and the Grants office in addition to her current station relations, business/finance, and marketing duties with Big Picture Science.