Ariel Conn, the person behind ScienceGhost

In my professional life, I run a consultancy where I deal with ethical, legal, and technical issues around autonomous weapons, and I work with a variety of organizations that are trying to prevent catastrophic and existential risks, especially those associated with artificial intelligence, climate change, and nuclear weapons. I was listed as one of 2023’s 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics.

I started out my career life with a degree in English and I worked in marketing and advertising for a few years, which included creating a “got milk?” commercial and serving as the managing editor at I ended up going back to school for degrees in physics and geophysics, and after a brief stint as a seismologist, I merged my backgrounds to become a science communicator.

Over the years, I’ve interned or worked with such organizations as NASA, the Idaho National Laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Virginia Tech, the Future of Life Institute, MIT, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the IEEE Standards Association.

I’m an invited speaker to events around the world on topics including autonomous weapons, AI policy and ethics, global catastrophic risk, climate change, and more. And I’ve even given statements about autonomous weapons on the floor of the United Nations.

I live in beautiful, sunny Colorado with my husband and two dogs.

I’ve been a fierce advocate of science for decades, and I’ve spent most of the past decade researching, reporting on, and communicating various scientific and technical advancements. I try to go straight to the source whenever possible, preferably interviewing scientists directly, but otherwise doing my best to muddle through scientific papers on a subject, rather read news articles written by journalists with no scientific background.

When I got sick with long covid, naturally, given the newness of the illness, there were very few resource to turn to. But interestingly, I’ve found even fewer good scientific resources regarding the techniques I used to recovered. I’d love to talk with scientists who are doing research in this space, but I don’t know how to find them, and the few I can find are far too prominent to just cold call.

In the absence of being able to find quality research myself, I’m putting this site together in the hopes that writing through the process will help me better understand what happened to me and that maybe my experiences can help someone else. And maybe, just maybe, by creating this site, I may also manage to find more scientific resources to help explain this.

Additionally, as someone who deals with the catastrophic fate of the world on a daily basis, and who had a year and a half to lay in bed thinking, I have a lot of other thoughts about the general state of the world that I’m looking forward to sharing here, even if they aren’t directly related to recovering from chronic illness.