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Meet a Volunteer: Ben Aldern

Meet a Volunteer: Ben Aldern

Author: Shannon Kozlovich, PhD
Editor: Laüra Gaitan

Meet Ben Aldern, a volunteer with the National Volunteer Scientist Database. Ben has been a career data scientist and engineer for the past 8 years, working with and for various tech start-ups in San Francisco, CA.

When asked what big questions he is answering in his daily life, Ben said, “I have a strong interest in global catastrophic risks including biological risks. Along those lines, I focus on moving the conversation on global risks forward and helping investigate what cultural norms are helpful for tackling a wide range of risks through projects like The New Modality.”

We asked Ben why he signed up to volunteer, and his answer underscores the importance of data science in a global health crisis. “COVID-19 has highlighted shortcomings in our data infrastructure and data quality - from the project level to the global level. I was on the lookout for projects that could benefit from getting started on the right foot along those lines when NSVD came along.”

Ben holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and has put his education to use in his professional life in data science and his personal life exploring digital signal processing and audio engineering. He is a lover of music and interesting sounds and spends his free time listening to, and sometimes making, music.

Thank you for your contribution Ben!

About the author: Dr. Kozlovich holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and works as a tobacco control advocate at an LGBT nonprofit in Los Angeles, CA. Her earnest desire to save the world had led to many interesting volunteer efforts that she wholeheartedly supports, including this one.

Like what you read? Interested in getting involved? Want to put this and other scientists to good use?
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