Dr. Henry (Hoby) Wedler
Founder & CEO, Accessible Science
Hoby has been completely blind since birth. He is a scientist, food & beverage expert and a passionate explorer and innovator of sensory experiences and sensory-driven design thinking. Hoby is unusually tuned into his surroundings and has frequently chosen to walk the unbeaten paths in life over known territories. In 2016, Hoby earned his PhD from UC Davis in organic chemistry. His fearlessness is infectious, and he has actively paved the way for others to join him in his quest to follow passions both because and despite of any challenges.
In 2011, Hoby founded Accessible Science, a non-profit organization which leads annual chemistry camps for blind or visually impaired students throughout North America. In the same year he began opening doors to the world of wine aromas by holding truly blind wine tastings in Francis Ford Coppola’s wineries. He now conducts these not just in the Sonoma-Napa wine region of California but around the globe. Over the years, Hoby has become a motivational speaker, a mentor and educator. In 2017, Hoby co-founded Senspoint Design. Senspoint Design is now merging with Tucker Creative and others to create SENSPOINT, a full-spectrum design company with a distinct focus on telling stories to create truly memorable experiences using all five senses. In his work, you will find a unique trilogy between sensory awareness, scientific knowledge, and a love for sharing his insights.
Hoby’s numerous initiatives have been recognized by President Barack Obama in 2012 when he was named a Champion of Change for enhancing employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities. In 2016, Hoby was named one of Forbes Media’s 30 under 30 in the food and drink category. Hoby’s initiatives have touched those whose sensory journeys he successfully guided to new levels of awareness and success.
Dr. Dean Tantillo
Director, Accessible Science
Dean Tantillo was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts, USA. He received an A.B. degree in Chemistry in 1995 from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in 2000 from UCLA. After receiving his Ph.D., he moved to Cornell University, where he carried out postdoctoral research. He joined the faculty at UC Davis in 2003, where he is now a Professor of Chemistry.
Research in Prof. Tantillo's group is driven by puzzling questions relating to chemical structure and reactivity. He is also working to help make Applied Theoretical Chemistry research accessible to blind and visually impaired students.
More information is available at the Tantillo group’s website:
Visit the Tantillo Group website to read more about how they are working to make science accessible!