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The Story Collider LIVE: An Evening of True, Personal Stories About Science

7:00 PM - 8:15 PM on Thursday, June 8, 2023
Crawford Family Forum, 474 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena
A promotional graphic with a red background with atoms pictured. The text over top reads, "The Story Collider LIVE An Evening of True, Personal Stories About Science"
LAist Design

Join us on June 8 for a special partnership with The Story Collider. It’ll be a night of hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming stories about science. Whether you haven’t touched a test tube since high school or have a closet full of lab coats, this is for you.

Most widely known for a weekly podcast that The Washington Post has called “delightful, devastating, and endlessly listenable,” The Story Collider brings together scientists, performers, and everyone in between to share true, personal stories about how science has impacted their lives.

Hosted by Bryan Kett and Natalia Reagan. Stories by actress Brittany Ross, JPL systems engineer Dr. Farah Alibay, author Carlos Kotkin, writer and storyteller Mike Lambert, and public health-focused psychologist Dr. Nina Christie.

In partnership with:


BRYAN KETT (he/him)
Bryan Kett is a former high school science teacher from outside of Chicago. He got tired of telling his students not to drink the chemicals in chemistry lab, so he began taking writing classes at Chicago’s famed Second City, which led to him earning his master’s degree in Creative Writing from DePaul University.

Bryan serves as Producer for The Story Collider and instructor for The Story Studio. His work, which blends science, humor, and personal narrative, has been featured on various NPR stations, Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake,, RISK!, and The Moth Podcast. He is still an advocate for not drinking chemicals in chemistry lab.

Natalia Reagan is an anthropologist, primatologist, comedian, host, producer, podcaster, professor, writer, and monkey chasing weirdo. Her training was in a four-field approach to anthropology and she often examines topics through a bio-cultural lens. Natalia was a comedy writer and correspondent on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk, regular host of the StarTalk All-Stars podcast, a science correspondent on Thrillist’s Daily Hit, a science expert on History’s UnXplained, skeptic on Travel Channel’s Paranormal Caught on Camera, and she was the co-host on Spike TV’s 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty. Natalia was also a writer and host for Discovery’s DNews, Seeker, and TestTube as well as an animal expert on Nat Geo Wild’s Everything You Didn’t Know about Animals. For her master’s fieldwork, she conducted a survey of the Azuero spider monkey in rural Panama. She has also published chapters in the Wiley Encyclopedia of Primatology (including “The CopulatoryPostures of Nonhuman Primates”), ACS’s Hollywood Chemistry, and Congreso de Antropología Panameña. After grad school, Natalia began producing science comedy videos covering such titillating topics as the evolution of boobs, butts, balls, and Bigfoot. Her passion includes combining science and comedy to spread science literacy while inducing spit takes. She currently lives a pants-optional lifestyle in LA and produces science comedy content for herself and others.


Brittany Ross grew up in Alaska, Scotland, South America, Texas, Chicago, and Hawaii. As a result, she is very normal...

Brittany is an actress, writer, stand up, and producer. She performs stand-up all over town, and is a well-known storyteller, having won The Moth several times.

Aside from the Choco Krispies commercial that not only starred a 5-year-old Brittany, but probably changed ALL of your lives, Brittany is best known for playing Courtney in ABC’s, THE MIDDLE. She can also be seen in Huge in France, Like Father, The Rookie, and more.

FARAH ALIBAY (she/they)
Dr. Farah Alibay is a Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she has been the member of four Mars missions, including most recently working on the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, and the Ingenuity Helicopter, which performed the first powered flight on another planet in April 2021. She is now the lead Flight System Systems Engineer on the SPHEREx mission – an infrared telescope due to launch in 2023. Prior to joining NASA, she completed a PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, all in Aerospace Engineering. Outside of her day-to-day work, Farah is dedicated to science communication, focusing on encouraging girls to develop and keep an interest in STEM. She also gives back to her local community by volunteering with Big Brother Big Sister LA (BBSLA) and as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). In her spare time, Farah enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking, and skiing… you can always find her in the mountains on her days off!

Mike Lambert is a writer and storyteller based in Studio City, California. He holds a BA in Theater from UCLA and, in an earlier incarnation, appeared in musicals and cabaret in New York and on tour. He has appeared as a stand-up comedian at the Original Improvisation in New York City and also worked as a joke writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Original story collections include Homo on the Range: Adventures at Oil Can Harry’s and Dear Mrs. Eddy: Letters from a Bad Christian Scientist. On June 17, he will be appear as a solo vocalist at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, singing Mack the Knife in German, with the L.A. Lawyers Philharmonic.

Dr. Nina Christie is a newly-minted Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and an incoming postdoctoral fellow at the University of New Mexico. Her research focuses on social connections and substance use, with an emphasis on opioid use and harm reduction, and she is passionate about positively impacting human health and wellbeing through the lens of psychology, public health, and policy. She is also a ~lover~ of all things Taylor Swift, baking new recipes for her friends and family, and is currently in her yoga phase!

Carlos Kotkin (he/him)
Carlos Kotkin is an author, screenwriter and humorist. His dating memoir "Please God Let It Be Herpes: A Heartfelt Quest For Love And Companionship" was published in 2012 and he has also written a number of animated features, including Rio 2, Open Season: Scared Silly, The Star and the soon-to-be released Giants of La Mancha. His stories have been featured in The New York Times’ Modern Love, Reader's Digest and Sunset Magazine, even though the Sunset Magazine was whittled down from five pages to one paragraph. (They still paid him.) His stories have also been aired on The Moth, Risk and KRCW’s Unfictional podcasts. He was valedictorian of his high school, then promptly dropped out of the University of Southern California, so he never thought he’d be in a show about science, but here we are. He's not a fan of writing about himself in the third person.


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