Maniac Talks

Upcoming Talks

POC: Charles K. Gatebe, Phone: 301-614-6228, Email:

Maniac Talks are about what inspired people to do what they are doing now in their career. It's about their driving forces and motivators and what keeps them going. It's about how they overcome obstacles. The format of the talks is informal and discussion is encouraged. All talks are recorded/taped and archived at GSFC Library. The talks are also available on YouTube:

David Miller Maniac Lecture

NASA Chief Technologist David Miller presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Defying Gravity and Overcoming Inertia: a Systems Perspective." Dave shared his journey from MIT to the Air Force to NASA, from teaching to research to service, defying gravity, and overcoming inertia to do so, which has been his lifelong goal.

Spiro Antiochos Maniac Lecture

NASA Solar Scientist Spiro Antiochos presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Seeing the Light." Spiro shared his twists and turns from the last 40 years while trying to understand the workings of the Sun as revealed by observations, primarily from NASA missions, and passed on lessons learned on generating new ideas and theories that apply to all areas of science.

Neil Gehrels Maniac Lecture

Astrophysicist Neil Gehrels presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Adventures in Astrophysics." Neil shared his passion and adventures in astrophysics, which traces back to his astronomer father, his physicist wife, a life-long career at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and good mentors.

Frank Cepollina Maniac Lecture

Frank Cepollina, 2003 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee, presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Servicing and NASA." Frank gave a rundown of his career in servicing spacecraft going back to 1970 and talked about the future of servicing and scientific missions working together in the future.

Marshall Shepherd Maniac Lecture

Dr. Marshall Shepherd, professor, University of Georgia, also the host of Sunday's talk show Weather Geeks, presented a Maniac lecture entitled "Zombies, Sports, and Cola: Implications for Communicating Weather and Climate." Believe it or not, Dr. Shepherd ties zombies, sports, and cola together to provide a compelling look at how we communicate (miscommunicate) weather and climate.

Richard Eckman Maniac Lecture

Dr. Richard Eckman, a NASA Program Manager presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Confessions of a Wannabe Meteorologist." Richard shared some of his encounters and experiences that led him from meteorology to ionospheric physics to mesospheric chemistry and, ultimately, to program management.

Richard Spinrad Maniac Lecture

NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. Richard "Rick" Spinrad presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Lately it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it's been: one technocrat's unguided tour through oceanography." Rick shared his journey and life in science, including tipping points in his career and how he has come to understand the value of transdisciplinarity, odds-weighing, and timing.

Richard Stolarski Maniac Lecture

NASA climate scientist Dr. Richard Stolarski presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Ozone has been very, very good to me!" Rich was a player and an eye witness to much of the historical development of our understanding of the stratospheric ozone layer from the 1970s to the present. He shared some of the lessons learned on this journey, including major scientific and political developments that led to the Montreal Protocol that bans the production of many ozone-depleting substances.

Eugenia Kalnay Maniac Lecture

Dr. Eugenia Kalnay, Distinguished University Professor and the first woman to get a doctorate in Meteorology from MIT, presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "Sheer luck: How I stumbled my way through a fantastic scientific career." Eugenia shared her life and times at the University of Buenos Aires, MIT, NASA, NOAA and University of Maryland, infused with dreams from her mother.

Paul Newman Maniac Lecture

NASA climate scientist Dr. Paul Newman presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Some pretty good rules for a career: Newman's own lessons." Paul traced his journey from middle of Seattle, where he grew up, moved to rural Iowa for graduate school, and made his way to NASA/GSFC in 1984, and discussed lessons to be learned from the ozone depletion story.

Michael Mishchenko Maniac Lecture

NASA climate scientist Dr. Michael I. Mishchenko presented a Maniac Talk entitled "How much first-principle physics do we need in remote-sensing and atmospheric-radiation research." Michael explained his skepticism and how it has shaped his contributions to the disciplines of electromagnetic scattering, radiative transfer, and remote sensing, which have found widespread use.