A Magical Night: Stories about moments when science was magic

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In this week’s episode, both of our storytellers experience a magical night that changes everything. Here’s hoping that we all have a similarly magical night tonight, on New Year’s Eve!

Part 1: Growing up in Pakistan, Salman Hameed falls in love with the mysteries of the universe when he stumbles upon Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

Part 2: As Zuri Sullivan pursues her dream of becoming an immunologist at Harvard, she begins to worry that she’s being “weeded out.”

Salman Hameed is Charles Taylor Chair and Associate Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from New Mexico State University at Las Cruces and a B.S. in physics and astronomy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His research interests have now moved in a sociological direction, and today his primary research focuses on understanding the reception of science in Muslim societies and how Muslims view the relationship between science & religion. He is also actively engaged in science communication and is the founder and CEO of Kainaat Studios that produces astronomy content in Urdu for audience in Pakistan. He has a YouTube channel for Urdu videos and a weekly astronomy segment in English for a radio station in Western Massachusetts. His classes focus on issues related to science, religion & society, and his favorite class is titled, “Aliens: Close Encounters of a Multidisciplinary Kind”.

Zuri Sullivan is an immunologist and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, where she studies how the immune system influences animal behavior. She hails from the DMV (DC, Maryland, and Virginia) and is fascinated by how the immune system helps animals adapt to different environments. Outside the lab, Zuri is passionate about increasing access to STEM careers for folks of all genders and ethnic backgrounds and sharing her science with the public. She loves spin class, sparkling rosé, and bragging about the fact that she shares a birthday with Beyoncé.

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