ScienceOnline is first and foremost a community made up of thousands of scientists, journalists, librarians, educators, artists, developers, students and others who conduct or communicate science on the web. Each one has a voice, and all voices are welcome to participate in our online and face-to-face conversations, conferences and other events.
We’re also a nonprofit corporation, and this is our leadership team:
Co-founder, Executive Director
Karyn Traphagen’s life mission is echoed in the name of her blog: “Stay Curious.” For her, communicating science is not simply about giving answers; it is about highlighting the things that people sometimes miss. By asking questions, she helps others discover for themselves more about their own world. Karyn’s mother taught her that if she wanted to learn something, there is no barrier—that she can learn anything if she tried. That is her vision for the world—to facilitate for others who want to learn and collaborate in order to stay curious.
As the co-founder and Executive Director of ScienceOnline, Karyn is the steward facilitating the ongoing atmosphere where like-minded people are able to find each other. Karyn (along with others in the ScienceOnline community) describes this as “finding your tribe.” Through both face-to-face events and social media, the community of researchers, educators, artists, data visualizers, developers, and students stay connected. They form collaborations (e.g., the project between a genomics lab and citizen science organization that will launch an experiment to the International Space Station) and share encouragement (e.g., the #IamScience project).
Karyn’s entire career has been dedicated to learning complex subjects and then successfully communicating these challenging topics to all levels of students. She is an accomplished educator of Physics (HS, Undergrad, Grad), Algebra (HS), Ancient Languages (Grad), and even violin (beginning and intermediate students). The magic happens when students have simple access to complex subjects, which enables them to be successful. For example, when teaching physics to non-science majors she focused on helping students discover physics concepts with everyday objects so they could make real connections with their own day-to-day lives. When teaching algebra, she would start with easy concepts (e.g., 2+2) and build step-by-step to complex equations.
Karyn’s love of learning is evidenced by her diverse studies: a BS in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Religion, and a Master’s in physics from the University of Virginia, with whom she still has a teaching affiliation. She also studied at the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa) in a doctoral program in the department of Ancient Studies (for ancient languages).
Karyn’s insatiable curiosity has led to accomplishments and recognition including student-nominated education awards, 2011 Blog Together community service award, and the Certificate for Non-profit Management from Duke University. Always up for an adventure, Karyn is a member of the Adirondack 46ers Club (having climbed all 46 of the high peaks in the Adirondacks, NY) and in May of 2013 she completed another triathlon, the RocketmanTri at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Scott Rosenberg, most recently the executive editor of Grist, the acclaimed green-news site, is the author of Say Everything and Dreaming in Code and the founder of Mediabugs.org, a service for correcting errors and problems in news coverage that was funded by the Knight News Challenge.
In 1995 he cofounded Salon.com with a group of like-minded colleagues from the San Francisco Examiner. At Salon, he served first as technology editor and, beginning in 1999, as managing editor and senior vice president for editorial operations. Throughout that time he wrote a weekly column, and later a blog. He conceived and launched the Salon Blogs program in 2002 and led the early stages of the Open Salon project until his departure in 2007.
Before Salon, Rosenberg spent nine years at the San Francisco Examiner — first as its theater critic, where his reviews won the George Jean Nathan Award; then as its movie critic; and finally as “digital culture” columnist. Prior to moving to San Francisco he worked as a theater, movie and book critic for the Boston Phoenix. As a freelance writer he has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wired magazine and many other publications.
Lowman, a.k.a. “Canopy Meg,” is an American biologist, educator, ecologist, writer, editor and public speaker, with pioneering expertise in canopy ecology, canopy plant-insect relationships and constructing canopy walkways, for which she was dubbed the “Real-Life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the Treetops” by the Wall Street Journal.
For more than 30 years, Lowman has solved mysteries of insect pests and ecosystem health in the highest layer of the world’s forests, designing the tools of the trade – hot air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration – along the way.
From 2010 until earlier this year, Lowman served as director of the Nature Research Center at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, then she became Senior Scientist for the entire Museum. She is also a research professor at North Carolina State University College of Sciences. She recently moved to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to serve as that institution’s chief of science and sustainability.
Lowman earned her Ph.D. in botany at the University of Sydney. Her C.V., online here, reflects an impressive, award-winning and globe-traveling career in science, as well as business and management experience as CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida, and co-founder of Canopy Construction Associates, a company that specializes construction of canopy walkways for research and education institutions worldwide. She has served as a board member for Earthwatch, The Explorers Club, The Ecological Society of America, The Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, and The TREE Foundation, among others.
Board Director and Treasurer
Mark Benerofe previously served as executive producer of TEDMED 2012 in Washington, D.C., and as senior adviser to companies including Cleveland Heart Lab.
Benerofe has served in senior executive roles at Priceline, Sony, Microsoft, Prodigy and CNN. He initiated the partnership between Microsoft and NBC that formed the MSNBC network. He was chief marketing officer at Walker Digital and EVP of corporate development for Priceline.com, and he has been an advisor to Boxbe, Sony Online Entertainment and Electric Classifieds (Match.com). From 2004 to 2007, Benerofe served as Chairperson for the Players on the board of the Women’s Tennis Association, leading the effort to secure equal prize money at Wimbledon and the French Open, along with the first revenue sharing agreement in professional tennis. Benerofe also serves on the board of directors for Dognition, and he is co-owner of a health club in Atlanta.
Additional board members are being recruited.
Co-founder and advisor
A longtime blogger and an early adopter of social media, Anton is co-founder of ScienceOnline and former board chair, and with Bora was creator and co-organizer of the annual precursor ScienceOnline conferences. He serves as an advisor to the organization leadership.