Science Riot

Our Team

Science Riot is an educational 501(c)(3) organization that produces and consults on informal science outreach events. Our goal is to create a public that is enthusiastic about science through innovative programming, comedy, outreach, and entertainment.

In our first year (June 2015-2016) our staff organized, hosted, moderated, and presented at twenty-five science outreach events in Colorado - reaching a combined audience of 2,700 science enthusiasts. Since then we have expanded our science comedy workshops and have graduated over a hundred scientists to the standup comedy stage. 

We've distilled years of experience in organizing, recruiting, hosting, and producing live science programming into simple to follow guides and checklists. Advertising? No problem. Nerdy music playlist? We have that too. Whether you are a motivated citizen or science institution, we can help you grow an enthusiastic science community in your hometown.


Board of Directors

Kyle Sanders - Executive Director.  Kyle is a pilot with an M.Ed in science communication. He’s also the creator of sciencey comic strip “Carbon Dating”.

Dr. Niki Spahich - President. Niki is our resident microbiologist with a Ph.D. in genetics. She’s a long-time science outreach advocate and karaoke enthusiast.

Dr. Kevin is a practicing veterinarian and professional stand-up comedian with 11 years on Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets. Last time we checked he was busy tranquilizing and collaring endangered species in Mongolia. In a snowstorm.


Eric Henderson - Producer. Eric is a nationally touring comedian from Denver, CO. He brings to the stage a unique style of observation humor and storytelling that never leaves the audience disappointed. He is also known for producing a monthly “food-based-showcase” and podcast called 3 Course Comedy.


Jessie Hanson - Producer. Jessie Hanson, B.S., B.A, M.A., MLS (ASCP), is a professional laboratorian and comedienne, with a background in microbiology research, medical diagnostics, and science communication. When she's not in the lab, she's on stage, performing improv, stand-up, circus acrobatics, and burlesque across the Rocky Mountain region Email:

Colorado Springs

Sonya Wilde - Producer. Sonya is an accidental scientist, having fallen into software engineering after selling Commodore 64s in the 80s. She also helped save the world from the Y2K catastrophe that threatened to destroy mankind. She discovered that performing with Science Riot was a safe alternative to expressing her wicked sense of humor at work where human resources are not as forgiving of her Australian vocabulary.

David Westmoreland - Assistant Producer. Dave is an evolutionary biologist at an uptight institution and a pirate-in-training.  He uses comedy for stress relief.

Outreach Experience

The Peer Revue - Scientists Doing Stand-up


<a href="">The Peer Revue</a> is a new program where scientists attempt stand-up comedy for the first time live on stage, after a workshop series in comedy writing and performance featuring professional comedians. Venues include the Denver Museum for Nature and Science, the Colorado University South Denver Museum, and the Space Foundation Discovery Center. (2016)

Denver Comic Con - Science Panels


"The Real Science of Zombies" featured state epidemiologists and a microbiologist discussing diseases, outbreak control, and prevention. "What Scientists Have Learned Since Jurassic Park" featured four museum curators and paleontologists discussing advances in the field. Each panel was at the maximum capacity of 300 attendees, and several hundred more were turned away at the door. (2016)

Nerd Nite - Denver


Performed science/comedy sets to demonstrate the Peer Revue concept. Graduates from our workshops afterwards participated in an additional three Nerd Nite events as speakers.

Super Science Mashup – Colorado Springs


A monthly series about science in pop-culture with several guest scientists, taking place at Ivywild School owned by Bristol Brewery. Topics include the physics of Star Wars, The Martian (featuring a NASA astronaut speaker), artificial intelligence, and CSI. 14 events in total. (2015-2016)

Science on Tap - Colorado Springs


A monthly discussion with a scientists taking place at Jack Quinn's. (2015-2016)

Colorado Springs Science Center

<em>committee members</em>

Advising on programs such as the Colorado Springs Science Festival and Maker Faire which atracted more than 15k attendees. (2015)

Skeptics in the Pub – Little Rock


A monthly series with guests scientists that explored common myths, misperceptions, and pseudoscience in pop culture. (2011-2013)

Science After Dark – Little Rock Museum of Discovery

<em>exhibit organizer</em>

Regularly featured themed experimental exhibits as part of the Science After Dark series. (2012-2013)

Geeks ‘N Taps – North Carolina

<em>event organizer</em>

Organized chemistry talks at a local brewery as part of a state-wide program. (2012-2013)

Meet A Scientist – Smithsonian

<em>guest speaker</em>

Science in the News - UNC, Chapel Hill


North Carolina DNA Day Festival – UNC, Chapel Hill

<em>committee member</em>