Sarah Demers is a particle physicist and an Associate Professor of Physics at Yale University. As a member of one of the collaborations that discovered the Higgs Boson in 2012, she is exploring the fundamental building blocks of nature and the forces that govern their interactions with a few thousand of her best friends using high energy proton collisions from CERN's Large Hadron Collider. She first became intrigued by particle physics while working with a research group at Harvard University around the time of the discovery of the top quark when she was an undergraduate. She followed this interest to graduate school at the University of Rochester and postdoctoral work at Stanford's Linear Accelerator Laboratory before joining Yale's faculty in 2009. Her research expertise is in using the tau lepton, a fundamental particle that lives for a fraction of a fraction of a second, to probe for and understand new physics. She has been recognized with an Early Career Award from the Department of Energy for this work. She currently leads one of the analysis groups that is characterizing the Higgs Boson at CERN's ATLAS experiment using taus. She is an intrepid participant in outreach activities, having competed in the first and only "Physics Slam on Ice" in 2013 in Minnesota, and more locally appearing on WNPR's Colin McEnroe show. When she is not doing physics she is thinking about it while canning, pureeing and dehydrating the results of her children (ages 4 and 6) and husband's foraging exploits in the woods and fields surrounding New Haven.


John Harris is Professor of Physics at Yale and Fellow of the American Physical Society. He serves as Chair of the Yale Science Council and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Physics at Yale. His research has spanned international scientific collaborations and has focused on collisions of atomic nuclei at very near the speed of light, recreating the primordial quark soup of the Big Bang. He was the Founding Spokesman of STAR, an experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in New York, and the 1st US Coordinator of ALICE, an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. He received his BS from the University of Washington in Seattle and his PhD from Stony Brook University. Before coming to Yale, he was a Fellow and Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (UC-Berkeley) with various fellowships and stays at the Goethe University and GSI Lab in Germany, and CERN in Switzerland. Aside from a healthy passion for physics and ice cream, John travels the world to windy surf-spots in California, Hawaii, Panama, and the Caribbean to satisfy his sick passion for “kitesurfing“. Oh yeah, snowboarding is cool too!


Ágnes Mocsy is a tenured professor of physics and astronomy at Pratt Institute. After her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, a postdoc at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. a Humboldt Fellowship in Frankfurt, she spent three years with the RIKEN theory group at Brookhaven National Lab. Ágnes is an accomplished theoretical physicist working on a broad range of topics within the theory of strong nuclear interactions, the force holding the atomic nucleus together. She is a recognized expert with groundbreaking contributions to probing matter when its temperature is cranked up to several trillion degrees, looking into the heart of the primordial conditions that existed a millionth of a second after the Big Bang. She is a passionate advocate for the sciences giving public lectures, lobbying Congress on behalf of Nuclear Sciences, developing creative and original ways in which non-science students work with scientists to unfold a richer vision of nature. These include the animated video "Sound of the Little Bang”, an Op-Doc “Smashing Matters”, and “Glamorous Gluons”, an art exhibit currently on display at Brookhaven Lab. Ágnes is also an aspiring documentary filmmaker, an avid road cyclist, a gourmet vegan cook, a freak for fashion, and she is known to be adventurous, fun loving, with an unceasing energy.


Paul Sorensen is a physicist working on the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory, a machine that slams nuclei together to recreate the quark-gluon plasma; a flowing mix of elementary particles left in the Big Bang’s wake. Sorensen joined Brookhaven two years after receiving his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2003. He was awarded tenure for outstanding research yielding some of the most powerful evidence that the matter produced at RHIC is a liquid-like quark gluon plasma. For his important early measurements, Sorensen won the 2008 George E. Valley Jr. Prize of the American Physical Society. In 2009, he also received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. In addition to research, Sorensen serves on the steering committee for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and enjoys rock climbing and just about anything that involves not following directions.



Ben Lillie is the co-founder and director of The Story Collider, where people are invited to tell stories of their personal experience of science. He is also a Moth StorySLAM champion and a contributing editor for He has a B.A. in physics from Reed College, a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford University and a certificate in improv comedy from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. He left the ivory towers of academia for the wilds of New York’s theater district.