Kiki Sanford

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Kirsten H. Sanford
Kirsten Sanford.jpg
Born (1974-08-01) August 1, 1974 (age 41)
Other names Dr. Kiki
Citizenship American
Occupation Researcher/broadcaster
Known for Dr. Kiki's Science Hour, This Week in Science podcast

Kirsten "Kiki" Sanford (born August 1, 1974) is an American science communicator. After working at the University of California, Davis as a research scientist in neurophysiology,[1] she left research work to pursue a career in science communication. Her work has included multiple audio and video programs, including the This Week in Science radio program and Dr. Kiki's Science Hour.[2]


Sanford was born in Santa Rosa, California and raised near Stockton, California.[3] She holds a B.S. in Conservation Biology and Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology from U.C. Davis. She is a specialist in learning and memory.[1] While attending graduate school at U.C. Davis, she found academic bureaucracy unappealing and decided to shift her career path from research to science communication.[3] Sanford holds a black belt in taekwondo.[4] She says martial arts was "something concrete to escape to" when faced with research hardships during graduate school.[5] Sanford currently lives in San Francisco with her husband.[6] She has one child.[7]

Dr. Sanford podcasts at SkeptiCal - Berkeley, CA - April 21, 2012

Science communication[edit]

Sanford, known as "Dr. Kiki," produces and appears in a number of science education programs. Sanford says of her work, "My shtick is: Dr. Kiki reaches out to people who don’t necessarily like science to get them to see it as something enjoyable. My goal is to get people who maybe flunked chemistry or didn’t do well on their science fair project to say, ‘This is really interesting.’"[8]

Sanford is the host of the This Week in Science radio show/podcast, which she founded in 1999. This Week in Science is a weekly program formerly streamed live from the This Week in Tech Network (TWiT), and then rebroadcast from U.C. Davis' KDVS, 90.3 FM.[2] Although TWiT no longer carries This Week in Science (as well as all third-party shows,) Sanford states that she is considering continuing the program on her own.[9]

Starting in late 2007, Sanford expanded her work, starring in On Network's successful series Food Science. The program explores the science of cooking as well as at-home experiments involving food.[10] In 2008, she began co-hosting Revision3's variety show PopSiren.[6][11] PopSiren describes itself as offering a "feminine perspective" on pop culture and technology.[12][13]

On April 30, 2009, Dr. Kiki's Science Hour kicked off on The show, recorded live on TWiT, became a podcast with episode 24. Past guests included scientists, skeptics, and science communicators such as astronomer Phil Plait and neurologist Steven Novella.[14][15] The program, like This Week in Science, is no longer carried by TWiT. On Sanford's website, she states that, "Regardless of these actions by TWiT, I will continue to endeavor to communicate science." She then states that her other program, This Week in Science, "will continue; exactly how is uncertain, but I will not let it disappear."[16]

Sanford has produced and hosted various segments for The Science Channel's science program Brink.[17]


In 2005, Sanford was awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellowship [18] in recognition for her work with her radio show This Week in Science. Through this fellowship she worked as a television news producer at WNBC News in New York City, working with noted health and science reporter Dr. Max Gomez.[19]


  1. ^ a b Science Resume at The Bird's Brain
  2. ^ a b This Week in Science - The Weekly Science Talk Radio Show and Podcast
  3. ^ a b "Kirsten "Dr. Kiki" Sanford, Host and Science Expert". Digital Dealmakers. TVWeek. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Dr. Kiki Sanford Can Kick Our Ass and Talk Over Our Heads ... and We're in Love
  5. ^ Lewinski, John. "Dr. Kiki Sanford Can Kick Our Ass and Talk Over Our Heads ... and We're in Love". Asylum. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Kirsten "Dr. Kiki" Sanford, Host and Science Expert
  7. ^ "CU Conference on World Affairs bio". University of Colorado Boulder. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Kirsten "Dr. Kiki" Sanford, Host and Science Expert". Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Sanford, Kirsten. "Regarding the rumors of Cancellation". TWIS. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "ON Networks Introduces New Food Line-up That's Sure to Tantalize Tastebuds". PRweb. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Lewinski, John. "Mr. Wizard Muscled Out by Sexier Redhead Scientist". WIRED. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "PopSiren homepage". Revision3. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  13. ^ "Revision3 Launches popSiren". RedOrbit. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  14. ^ Plait, Phil. "I’m guest hosting Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour on Thursday!". Bad Astronomy. Discover Magazine. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Dr. Kiki's Science Hour 33: Retracting The Needle From Autism". Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  16. ^ Sanford, Kirsten. "Dr. Kiki is on the Loose". Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Dr. Kiki Sanford Media Resume". Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  18. ^ AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program from the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  19. ^ "The Science Chat with Dr. Kiki". 

External links[edit]