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On the Main Stage

Opening Keynote: Monday, October 14 - 8:30am

Downloading the Universe
Dr. Phil Plait, Speaker, Author, Astronomer

The ARMA InfoCon 2024 Opening Keynote Address will be delivered
by astronomer Dr. Phil Plait. Join us for a unique keynote address in Space City as Dr. Plait discusses the challenges and opportunities presented when downloading data from space and how the seamless management of space data not only advances our understanding of
the cosmos but also drives innovation in data and information management technologies.

It all started because astronomer Phil Plait got tired of news coverage repeating myths about balancing an egg on an equinox, planetary alignments causing earthquakes, and the 'faked' moon landing. He created a website called 'Bad Astronomy', and started calling out bad science online. Clearing up widespread scientific misconceptions naturally evolved into sharing the science he loved as well. He found readers eager to hear his concise, accessible, and sometimes funny explanations about both basic theory and the latest advances.

Twenty years later, Dr. Plait is known as the Bad Astronomer and has written three popular science books (Bad Astronomy, Death From The Skies! and Under Alien Skies). He wrote and hosted “Crash Course Astronomy”, a 46-part educational web series that has nearly 80 million views and is frequently used in schools. He was the head science writer for Season 1 of "Bill Nye Saves the World" on Netflix, and currently writes a weekly astronomy column for Scientific American. He writes the thrice-weekly ‘Bad Astronomy’ newsletter that keeps subscribers apprised of the latest sky news, and is known for his social media presence.

His lively and engaging events have, in the past, included balancing eggs on stage and screening clips from blockbuster movies to point out particularly terrible science. He has spoken at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute (home of Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope), the Hayden Planetarium in NYC and many other world-class museums and planetaria; conferences, astronomy clubs, colleges & universities, and community groups. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, Pax TV, Tech TV, Syfy, Radio BBC, Air America, NPR, and many other television and internet venues. His writing has appeared in Discover magazine, Sky and Telescope, Scientific American, Astronomy magazine, Night Sky magazine,, and more. Dr. Plait earned his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Virginia, and worked on the Hubble Space Telescope as a NASA contractor at the Goddard Space Flight Center.