Who Is This Now?
Maggie Ryan Sandford is “a wicked cool anomaly“: naturalist, author, media maker and museum exhibit developer who uses science and art to educate the masses.
She’s a writer/researcher/producer/reformed comedian on a mission to make the world more equitable and scientifically literate through creative, research-based media projects. She researches how humans learn about and engage with science, and works to empower more humans do so. She develops and executes work for big screens, little screens, museums, radio, and stage. More specifically…
She develops museum exhibitions and visitor experiences, science and otherwise, including the newly revamped “Discover Wolves” exhibition at the International Wolf Center, the Saint Paul Saint’s “City of Baseball Museum,” and Victoria the T. rex. Whether the job calls for her to humanize a T. rex, or to get out of the way and help humans tell their own stories, she’s ready.
She works in all formats of TV and film. She is currently at work on a NASA-funded planetarium show that addresses issues of accessibility and inclusion by teaching about the biology of humans in space. She recently wrote and directed the award-winning exhibition film Victoria the T. rex. Other production credits include Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, The Onion News Network, Diners/Drive-Ins/and Dives, The Writer’s Almanac, A Prairie Home Companion, and an interactive, multimedia documentary for Twin Cities Public Television, the Association for Independents in Radio (AIR), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
She is the author of a book about evolution and genetics, Consider the Platypus: Evolution through Biology’s Most Baffling Beasts (Black Dog & Leventhal/Hachette, 2019), which is weirdly a hit among folks ages four to 104, and was a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award in the category of General Nonfiction.
More of her science writing has appeared in Smithsonian, Slate, Nature, National Geographic, ComedyCentral.com, the Onion/A.V. Club, mental_floss, and on TV and radio. Her fiction has a appeared in publications including Paper Darts, Revolver, the Indiana Review, McSweeney’s Book of Politics and Musicals and earned the semi-annual Richard Hugo House Founders’ Award and first place in Literary Death Match 100 and Write Fight #1.
Maggie has performed her work at Joe’s Pub, the Guthrie Theatre, People’s Improv Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Rififi, the Seattle Poetry Festival, the Walker Art Center, the Wheeler Centre’s “Interrobang: A Festival of Questions”, Rockstar Storytellers, and for All Things Considered, A Beautiful World, College Humor, Kevin Kling’s Storycraft, NPR’s Story Forms, and various podcasts including Stephen Dubner’s Tell Me Something I Don’t Know and Regret Labs.
Previously, she was a research and evaluation associate at the Science Museum of Minnesota, doing science about how people learn about science. Research affiliations include the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Purdue University, the University of Notre Dame, and the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE).
She would love to talk to you, any time, about so many things but especially your relationship with science. And/or evolution. And/or cetaceans. Please drop a line.
Complete CV and project samples available upon request.
Feel free to hit her up on Twitter… If you’re into the whole brevity thing. ————————>
After clicking over here from your Paper Darts interview, I was really excited to find someone else in the Twin Cities with a WP site of literary humor. But once I got here and saw you are a Mac grad, I realized I think I already know you. Were we in Wang PIng’s Intro to Poetry together, probably 10 years ago now?
Anyhow, I’m really enjoying reading through the great work you’ve got on here and am looking forward to keeping up in the future.
Oh man what I jerk I must look like for not responding directly to your post. But we talked! We did! These nearly three years ago…