Top Academic Reddit IAmA's The latest Academic IAmA's collected from Reddit AcademicI'm a professor who has published books on Star Wars and Blade Runner, AMA I do stand-up comedy, I write, I act, and I do a podcast called WTF with Marc Maron. My producer Brendan McDonald and I wrote Waiting for the Punch, a book that uses hundreds of interviews from the podcast to help understand what it means to be alive. Let’s talk. (Brendan is here too and he’ll sign any questions he answers with ‘BM.’)


That was fun. We've got to run to a thing. Thanks everyone for talking and asking and listening. If you preordered Waiting for the Punch, thank you so much. If you didn't, go get yourself a copy. We think you'll really enjoy it.

Boomer Lives!

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 0:00:00 EDT
Academic - LiveIamA baseball analyst and professor of sabermetrics here to answer Qs about MLB playoffs. AMA! My short bio: I founded Clio ( 9 years ago to bring law firms to the cloud. Since then, we've grown to over 200 employees, 150,000 customers, and 74,000 law firms.

My Proof:

EDIT: Hey everyone, headed back to the conference to do conference things, but I'd like to thank everyone taking the time to submit questions here. I'll keep checking back and answering questions throughout the day!

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 0:00:00 EDT
ScienceI am the 20 year old student who recently discovered 91 volcanoes in Antarctica! AMA The Associated Press is launching Future of Work, a series of stories exploring how technology and global pressures are transforming workplaces across the U.S. and around the world. The first installments went out this week and focus on workers’ relationships with robots, and how automation is changing the availability and nature of employment in manufacturing.

There’s a paradox in how we think of modern American manufacturing jobs.

While it’s true that many of these jobs have gone overseas, U.S. manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years, and federal statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs are unfilled.

But this isn’t the kind of assembly-line work your parents and grandparents did. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills to run robots. Many of the workers laid off from low-tech factories lack such qualifications, and training opportunities are limited, particularly for older workers. Japan is way ahead of the U.S. in introducing robots to the workplace, but it hasn’t resulted in some of the job reductions observed in other nations. It has also not created the surge in higher-skilled employment. So, it turns out, there are plenty of manufacturing jobs. There just aren’t enough of the right kind of workers to fill them.

Here’s your chance to talk about this with some of the Associated Press journalists who reported these stories in text, photos, video and graphics across three continents. We are writer Dan Sewell and photographer John Minchillo in Cincinnati: business writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo: economics editor Fred Monyak in Washington: and enterprise editor Jeff McMillan in Philadelphia. Ask us anything!


This AMA is now closed. Thanks to everyone who offered questions!

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicIamA economist. Ask me anything about environmental regulations, why climate change is going to F shit up, why water should not be free, how countries develop (or not), and anything else that comes to mind! My face

Proof I'm disabled x

My face and glass related stuff X X X X

My face and my service dog's face butt

Evidence of dog training. X X

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 0:00:00 EDT
MunicipalHi, I Am Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Director of LA County Mental Health, AMA! UPDATE: Thank you for your great questions; feel free to keep in touch with me or LACDMH over social media and I look forward to answering more of your questions next time.

I am Jonathan Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., a father, surfer, wellbeing advocate, psychiatrist, neurobiologist and – as of this past November – the new Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH). I oversee the largest public mental health system in the United States with a budget approaching $2.5 billion. We serve over 250,000 residents annually in one of the most ethnically- and culturally-diverse counties in the nation.

Prior to joining LACDMH, I was the chief medical officer and executive VP of military communities for Volunteers of America, one of the largest national direct service non-profits. Over the years, I have served in various clinical, research, teaching and administrative leadership positions for the Department of Veteran Affairs. In my last such post, I directed mental health for the Miami VA Healthcare System.

As an expert on veteran issues, I have testified to Congress on a variety of trauma-, recovery- and reintegration-related challenges veterans face, including homelessness and suicide.

As a researcher, I have published a number of papers in the fields of neurobiology and psychiatry – including a “Science” article that described my work discovering a core sleep circuit in mammals (a.k.a. the sleep switch). I have also received the prestigious Kempf Award from the American Psychiatric Association for my conceptual model on the psychotic process.

Lastly, I am currently a volunteer clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at both UCLA and the University of Miami.

For the next hour (1:30p to 2:30p Pacific Time), I welcome your questions about mental suffering, confronting stigma and changing our perceptions, language and attitudes to create a new culture that promotes mental health. A colleague is helping me with typing down responses, but the words are 100% mine.


If anyone is interested, here is my Twitter, plus LACDMH’s website and social media pages: | | |

P.S. This week, LA County is co-hosting the inaugural global summit dedicated to changing the way we think, talk about and take action for mental health. To learn more about & participate in this 3-day series of events to kick off Mental Health Awareness Month, visit

Mon, 01 May 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicWe are SEDS UCSD, the undergrads that designed, tested, and launched one of the first 3D printed rocket engines. Ask us anything! Who we are: A multi-disciplinary, entirely undergrad group looking to advance the new space movement. We seek to make getting to space cheaper and easier than ever before through our research in 3D printing and propulsion technologies.

What we've done:

What we're working on:


For more information:

EDIT: That's it for now, everyone! If you'd like to keep up with what we're doing or ask us more questions, we update Facebook, Twitter, and our website.

If you'd like to help us keep innovating and growing the next generation of aerospace leaders, we encourage you to contribute to our Triteia project and help us get to the moon!

Thanks for your time and ad astra per aspera, The SEDS UCSD Team

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicIamA an author, a British historian, Harvard chair, keynote speaker at the annual meeting for the American Society of International Law... AMA! Peter Joseph is an American-born social critic and activist who has lectured around the world on the subject of cultural sustainability. Once deemed “The Herald of Occupy Wall Street” for his tacit prediction of inevitable global uprisings against inequality and economic injustice, his extensive media work has been translated into over 130 languages and experienced by 250 million people.


FINAL NOTE (for now): I want to thank everybody for an excellent five hour exchange. Unfortunately I have to go now but I really appreciate people's questions and I hope I could be of some service. I will try to find time to also address existing questions that I could not get to over the next week or so. Thanks again!

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicI'm Harold Pollack, a UChicago professor who created one index card with all the financial advice you'll ever need. AMA! My short bio: I was a senior about 7 weeks away from graduating when 4/16/2007 happened. I knew several people that were either killed or injured. There isn't a single week that goes by since that day when it doesn't cross my mind.

EDIT: Some additional insight so you don't have to dig through comments:

  • I was not in a classroom, and I was not shot. I was on my way to an unaffected class room.

  • I was good friends with one person that was killed, acquaintances with a few who were shot, and knew several others affected.

  • The top takeaways from the incident for me were:

  1. The media is an extremely sharpened double-edged sword. The same vehicle that generated a global outpouring of support also arm-chair quarterbacked their way into criticizing our school, and stalked students around campus trying to generate tears-on-camera. I was set to graduate with a degree in mass communication, but abondoned the media industry altogether after that incident.

  2. Virginia Tech is one of the most resilient, kindest communities I've ever known. Everyone parents asked us to "leave and come home," but not a single person I know did. We all stayed. Even the 20-or-so injured students all came back to school as soon as they could. Everyone wanted to be at school to help each other and not let something like this define who we were. One guy who was shot in the leg left his hospital bed against doctor's order on crutches, just so he could walk across stage at our departmental commencement ceremony. People gave him a full five minute standing ovation.

  3. I remember being rather hurt/upset that it can branded as "the Virginia Tech massacre." No one asked us (the students) if that was okay. I realize that's not historical labeling works, but it just always bothered me.

My Proof:

EDIT 2: The intent here was to simply give folks a personal perspective on how a school/community is impacted beyond what you may recall hearing from the media. I care about my school and wanted awareness for my 32 heroes to live on a decade later. Even though I created a throw-away account and remained anonymous, there are redditors here who somehow believe I'm doing this for personal attention(?). There are certainly accounts and stories to be told of those "closer" to the incident itself, but I never claimed to be one of those accounts, so I'm having trouble reconciling some of the outrage and hatred in the comments.

With that, I'm going to stop responding to things now. My sincerest apologies if any one found this exploitative or disrespectful, it certainly was never the intent.

neVer forgeT.

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicI am Dr Evan Pickett and IamA herpetologist - AMA! I am Benjamin from Turret Psychoanalytics. I am responsible for the development and deployment of our new Artificial Intelligence that can predict human behavior using social media. We are launching it as a marketing product at CeBIT in a few days. I would love to have a conversation with reddit about the advancements we have made in sentient Artificial Intelligence and its potential implications on society.

Answers to some basic questions: I am 20 years old. My background is mostly in psychology. My title is Chief Data and Information Officer. Our website is .


Sat, 18 Mar 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicI am Tyler Cowen, blogger at Marginal Revolution, George Mason Economics Professor, and author of "The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream." Ask Me Anything! Using a throwaway for obvious reasons...I worked professionally as a flight attendant for a major airline and travelled all around the world. I've got plenty of stories to share so ask away!


Mon, 06 Mar 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicHi, I'm Tim Wu, media guru and father of net neutrality, and author of The Attention Merchants. Ask me anything, Reddit! CATFIGHT is a brutally hilarious story about two bitter rivals pursuing a grudge match that spans a lifetime. Struggling outsider artist Ashley Miller (Anne Heche) and wealthy housewife Veronica Salt (Sandra Oh) were close in college, but have not seen each other since. When they find themselves attending the same glitzy birthday party, verbal barbs lead to fisticuffs and an all-out brawl that will keep these two locked in combat for years to come.

You can watch the trailer here:


EDIT: Thank you so much for tuning in!!

Fri, 24 Feb 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicIamA Economist Brad DeLong AMA! A clip from "Alive Inside" of Old Man in Nursing Home Reacts to Hearing Music from his Era first went viral on Reddit!

"Brian's Songs" is a story of Love, Friendship, Music and ALS

My Proof:

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicHi! I am bat researcher. I am heading to the bat cave in search of pregnant vampires for my study on vampire evolution! AMA! Hi Reddit!

I am one of a handful of scientists studying bat development. I am in the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). I am earning my PhD and I am trying to finish up my thesis so I can graduate and start my very own BAT LAB!!! To this end, I am currently running a crowdfunding campaign (ends Feb. 9th) for my vampire bat project (and I've already received 19% in funding, yay!). If interested in having an impact on research, please go to my page for more information on suggested donations: -->

About my bat research project: In my lab, I study bat faces, how they evolve and how they develop. I specialize in neotropical leaf-nosed bats, which have a bizarre form of echolocation! They produce their echolocation calls out of their nose! What is really cool about the leaf-nosed bats, is that they have specialized to eat many different food types: insects, meat, fruit, pollen, nectar and EVEN BLOOD! Blood feeding in vampire bats is an amazing evolutionary novelty, no other vertebrate feeds exclusively on blood. Vampires have many unique adaptations for blood feeding and without a host, they will die, there is no alternative food source for a vampire. My question I seek to answer is: How do vampire faces originate? I use the development of the vampire face to directly observe what genes and developmental processes shape the face!

I look forward to any and all batty related questions or comments <*>

My Proof:

What is this about crowdfunding experiments? is a crowdfunding platform for research. The proposed project I have is to make a reference transcriptome for one species of bat, the common vampire bat. The idea for the crowdfunding is to generate funds for an experiment. As a grad student, there are alternative ways to get grant funding, but the more options you can have to generate for funds, the better! The crowdfunding sell, I guess, is to involve more people with your research. From the webpage "Scientists share progress, data, and results directly with backers, many widely available as open access and citeable. As a backer, you'll be able to see how much of a scientific impact you've made."

The majority of my research is funded by my own funding, through the NSF-DDIG and small grants here and there. Since I am still in the process of publishing my prior bat work with my advisor, we have not landed a big grant for bat only research, it will happen eventually fingers crossed.

Why I need your help:

I don't have many people to turn to for this type of crowdfunding.

My project is part of the "Evolution Challenge Grant", so the project with the most pledges is awarded the grant! I need help with this! I have 15 backers and the competition ends Jan. 25! The current person is leading with 21 backers.

Please help me to raise funds for my bat lab research on vampire bats. Even if you do not directly contribute, it would be so helpful to share my project with your family, friends, and teachers back home who may be interested in directly contributing to a research project. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for taking the time to read through this and I hope you can follow me on my twitter account (@batevodevo) for bat field updates!!!

About me

I am Chicana in my department (evolutionary biology). I proudly marched for "SCIENCE IS THE FUTURE" in the Boston's Women's March, but really I want to see a more inclusive SCIENCE community. We will get there.

I grew up impoverished (Salinas, CA (93905 zip)), so my family and teachers back home struggle. My community has to deal with shootings and other gang activities, so while my family and past teachers have been helping to spread the word on my project, there isn't much urgency to support science.

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicIamA Author, Viking expert, and speaker at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds AMA! C.J. Adrien is a French-American author with a passion for Viking history. His Kindred of the Sea series was inspired by research conducted in preparation for a doctoral program in early medieval history as well as his admiration for historical fiction writers such as Bernard Cornwell and Ken Follett. He has most recently been invited to speak at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds this summer.


Thanks to everyone who participated and asked questions. If you'd like to read more about the Vikings, check out my blog. This was my first Reddit experience, and I had a great time! That's it for me, Skal!

//EDIT #2//

I received a phone call telling me this thread was getting a lot of questions, still. I am back for another hour to answer your questions. Start time 11:35am PST to 12:30pm PST.

//EDIT #3//

Ok folks, I did my best to get to all of you. This was a blast! But, alas, I must sign off. I will have to do one of these again sometime. Signing off (1:20pm PST). Thank you all for a great time!

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 0:00:00 EDT
AcademicIamA educator who teaches life skills and money management to abandoned and abused refugee children in the Middle East AMA! Hello again Reddit! The last AMA was a truly incredible experience (you even crashed my website!). Thank you all for the love and support. I hope you had as much fun as I did. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of you and answering more questions. You can see the first AMA here

A short list of my most favorite experiences are: *Being accepted to Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural school *Working with NASA to inform the public on the first unmanned space flights *Being Walter Cronkite's “Hal 9000” NASA connection during live broadcast of the first moon landing *Inventing the first real color monitor for Hewlett Packard *Writing my first book CoreFires - a labor of love 20 years in the making

I've worked on the following movies & shows: * Lead star ship designer for Star Wars - I drew the original designs for the X-Wing, A-Wing, Star Destroyer, TIE Fighter, & Rebel cruisers. I was also the one who designed and sculpted the Death Star and gave it it's trench * 2001, A Space Odyssey - I worked closely with Stanley Kubrick and persuaded him not to start the movie with a 20 minute conference table discussion * Buck Rogers in the 25th Century * Close Encounters of a Third Kind * War Games

I have a deep interest in science - especially quantum physics and space travel. I could not have picked a better time to have been born. So much has happened so quickly! Our dreams of space flight are maturing and I believe one day soon we’ll be exploring the next waiting wonders of our galaxy.

My latest project is a book series called CoreFires. It is free for today and anyone who leaves an Amazon review will be entered to win either a signed copy of the book or a signed print of my original Star Wars ship designs (your choice). 3 Winners will be chosen. Sign up here to enter

You can see my original Pre-Star Wars artwork here

A special thanks to for helping me self publish my book. I highly recommend them to any authors who want help getting self published.

I hope that's enough to get us started. AMA!

It has just come to my attention that Carrie Fisher passed away today after her heart attack several days ago. I'm sure you will join me in sending our sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones

My Proof:

Sun, 25 Dec 2016 0:00:00 EDT