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Joe Hanson with goat

High School Quiz Show Host: Joe Hanson


Joe Hanson, Ph.D., is a science writer, biologist, host, video producer, and educator. His mission is to explore ways that digital storytelling can help people think more deeply about science and the universe they live in.

He’s the creator and host of Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of finding things out. Be Smart has amassed more than 5 million subscribers across all platforms and more than half a billion views on YouTube.

Joe previously created and co-hosted Hot Mess, a show about climate change and the environment, and is host and co-writer of Overview, an award-winning aerial photography show focused on nature and science stories, both from PBS.

He won the 2017 Webby Award for Best Web Personality for his work on Be Smart and a 2021 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for his work on Overview.

Joe received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and his science writing has been published by WIRED, Nautilus, Scientific American and Texas Monthly. He has appeared in numerous national and international print and broadcast media outlets including CNN and NPR. One time, he had a Twitter conversation with an astronaut while they were in space, which was pretty cool. He lives in Austin, TX.