Karl J. P. Smith, PhD

Doctor Sparks

Doctor Sparks is the storytelling alter ego of Karl J. P. Smith. Karl has a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Rochester, and previously worked as a software developer for Amazon, making the Alexa voice assistant smarter. He was Storyteller-in-Residence at MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation from November 2018-March 2019, and was named Storyteller-in-Residence of the Carnegie Science Center in 2017. His popular science writing has appeared in Scientific American, Slate, and elsewhere.

Doctor Sparks also writes stories for people on his mechanical typewriter at museums, and all over the place. You can bring him to your event for a touch of whimsy. 10 Cent Stories was even covered by the national news! He’s currently trying to get funding together to turn the TV pilot about the project into a show. If you’re curious how a scientist finds his way to storytelling, you can read the essay he wrote for Scientific American’s blog or watch his TEDx talk. Find out more about the research he did as part of his PhD at the University of Rochester here. Below is his performance reel, which shows him typing and storytelling.