Science Hack Day: Revealing Unseen Science


By Ariel Waldman


10 December 2013

Science Hack Day is a 48-hour event in which scientists, designers, developers, scientists, citizen scientists, and all different types of people get together in the same physical space to see what they can rapidly prototype with science in 24 consecutive hours. 

The very first Science Hack Day was in June, 2010 and there have been about 25 events worldwide so far. Each of those events has ranged from usually between 50 to 100 is maybe the average size. The most recent event in November 2012 in San Francisco had 200 people, which was the largest Science Hack Day yet.

People organically form multidisciplinary teams over the course of a weekend: particle physicists team up with designers, marketers join forces with open source rocket scientists, writers collaborate with molecular biologists, etc. By collaborating on focused tasks during this short period, small groups of hackers are capable of producing remarkable results. These five works highlight the potential of a brief but intense period of collaboration where hacking, and building ‘cool stuff’ can reveal new perspectives on science through playful exploration. 

This gets to the heart of science: science is seeking out the nature of the universe, but much of the nature of the universe is invisible to us, both figuratively and literally. By navigating scientific data in these unusual ways, it reveals things otherwise unknown, hidden or lost giving people people a better idea of what they're surrounded by day-to-day.