• Speakers
  • Shirley Ho, Ph.D.Senior Research Scientist, Cosmology, Foundation Models for Science, CCA, Flatiron Institute
  • David BaronAuthor
  • Sóley HymanPh.D. student at Steward Observatory, Astronomy and Astrophysics Department, University of Arizona
Date & Time

About Presents
Presents is a free events series exploring the connections between science, culture and society. Join our scientists and special guests as they discuss the intersections of their work, followed by an evening of conversation over drinks. It’s an opportunity to hear new perspectives that may challenge your assumptions and stoke your curiosity. Meet interesting people who share a passion for ideas and discovery. Come for the conversation, stay for the connections.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will traverse the United States. The sight of our moon aligning with the sun, casting a shadow upon the Earth and plunging those in the path of totality into temporary darkness is an unforgettable one. Drawing from the world of science and history, we will discuss the totality experience from different perspectives.

Shirley Ho is a cosmologist who, among other things, is interested in the sun and how it works. She is particularly interested in the sun’s outermost layer, called the corona, and its potential impact on the Earth as it moves. For this upcoming eclipse, she will use artificial intelligence to predict how the corona will behave.

David Baron is a science writer and eclipse chaser. His book “American Eclipse” captures the feeling of adventure and discovery when a total eclipse passed over the American West in 1878. What can the history of solar eclipses tell us about the history of science itself?

Sóley Hyman is an astrophysicist who has turned her attention to ensuring that everyone has a great experience of the solar eclipse, including people with blindness or low vision. Using her background in music, she and her colleagues are building devices to ensure everyone can enjoy this tremendous experience.

With the Great American Eclipse just around the corner on April 8, join them as they sit down with John Tracey, program director of Science, Society & Culture at the Simons Foundation, as they discuss what we mean when we say “totality.”


Ho is a senior research scientist at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Simons Foundation’s Flatiron Institute. She joined the foundation in 2018 to lead the Cosmology X Data Science group. Her research interests range from cosmology to developing new machine learning methods for scientific data that leverage shared concepts across scientific domains. Ho has extensive expertise in astrophysical theory, observation and data science. She focuses on novel statistical and machine learning tools to address cosmic mysteries like the origins and fate of the universe.

Baron is the author of “American Eclipse,” winner of the 2018 Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics. A long-time science correspondent and editor for NPR and other public radio outlets, his journalism has been honored with awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academies and many other organizations. In 2021, he served as chair in astrobiology at the Library of Congress. Baron is a passionate eclipse chaser who has witnessed eight total solar eclipses spanning five continents. His TED talk — “You Owe It to Yourself to Experience a Total Solar Eclipse” — has been viewed more than two million times.

Hyman is a doctoral student in the astronomy and astrophysics program at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She attended Harvard University, earning bachelor’s degrees in astrophysics and physics with a minor in music. Her experience in astronomy has ranged from projects on instrumentation for high-energy particles to a multiwavelength study of a distant galaxy system. She is excited to contribute to growing multiwavelength and multimessenger astronomy communities in the search for unusual objects, systems and phenomena. In addition, she is an accomplished trumpet player committed to making astronomy more accessible for blind and visually impaired people through sound.

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