Space in Your Face! (SIYF) is a seasonal space science outreach event held in Denver, Colorado. SIYF isn’t your typical outreach event, but more of an explosive blend of art and science that leverages the artistic and scientific community of the greater Denver area. SIYF combines small acts of music, comedy, skits, and quizzes with engaging and enthusiastic science lectures all converging on a space related topic. I would be lying if I didn’t say I created and curate these events, but if it wasn’t me who stepped up to the plate, I’m sure eventually entropy would have produced something similar. (Do I have impostor syndrome, or what?!) Anyways, Space in Your Face! was started in February of 2013 and is still going, and evaluations indicate that the events are highly enjoyed by audience members, and science knowledge is gained (two main objectives).
Why Space in Your Face!? I moved from Boulder to Denver, Colorado in 2012 and my community in Boulder was primarily science oriented (friends from school). Moving to Denver, my community was more oriented in the arts. I noticed that most every time I went out to social functions I was always asked about my profession as an Astrobiology research assistant at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It felt that there was a thirst for astrobiology discussion in Denver, whereas in Boulder, talking science was our day job and after-hours were reserved for anything BUT talking shop. Getting attention in social situations for being a space dork was new for me and often overwhelming, however, it was AWESOME that there was such interest!
I felt the genuine interest in the young adult community in Denver warranted creating an event. My boss at the time, Dr. David Grinspoon, and I had toyed around with the idea for creating a space variety show, but then he took a sabbatical at the Library of Congress as the first ever Chair of Astrobiology, in Washington, DC (WHICH IS TOTALLY AWESOME!) so the plan never came to fruition. Over the years I had built a wonderful network of scientists and artists in Denver and Boulder, and had several years of outreach experience under my belt – the time felt right to start something of my own in his absence. Thus was born Space in Your Face!