Advisory Board

Scott Manley, MSc

Scott Manley, MSc is a Software Engineer and Developer at Apple and a famous YouTube Personality. He is also an Astrophysicist, Gamer, and DJ.

On his YouTube channel, he makes videos discussing space-related topics and news, mainly concerning up-to-date rocket science developments. He also plays space-themed video games, usually Kerbal Space Program, while he explains much of the science involved. He uses his scientific background to help teach science while playing games.

A video titled Asteroid Discovery From 1980–2010 was one of Scott’s early YouTube successes. This video is a computer animation showing a timelapse of the Solar System from 1980 to 2010. As asteroids are discovered they are added to the map and highlighted white so you can pick out the new ones. The final color of an asteroid indicates how closely it comes to the inner solar system. Earth Crossers are red. Earth Approachers (Perihelion less than 1.3AU) are yellow. All others are green.

This video quickly amassed over 459,000 views in the five days following its upload. By September 3, 2010, his szyzyg channel had 213 subscribers, earning Scott the accolade “#66 – Most Viewed (This Week)”.

He is known among his followers as the “astronogamer”, as he is one of the few YouTubers blending both video games and science, and is popular in the niche community of space enthusiasts and gamers, especially the Kerbal Space Program community.

In 2018, Scott slowly transitioned away from gaming content and began focusing heavily on the history of spaceflight and current events in the industry. As of 2022, these are his main posts, alongside regular Q&A videos with questions submitted by his patrons on Patreon. Scott still streams games weekly on Twitch under the name “Szyzyg”.

Scott has been at Apple as Software Engineer and Developer since 2013 and was a Search Engineer at Topsy Labs from 2009 to 2013. Topsy made products to search, analyze, and draw insights from conversations and trends on public social websites including Twitter and Google+. The company was acquired by Apple Inc. in December 2013 and shut down on December 16, 2015.

Before, between 2004 and 2009, Scott was Security Architect at imeem Inc. The online service imeem was a social media website where users interacted with each other by streaming, uploading, and sharing music and music videos. It operated from 2003 until 2009 when it was shut down after being acquired by MySpace.

The company was founded in 2003 by Dalton Caldwell (formerly of VA Linux) and Jan Jannink (previously of Napster), and many of its core engineering team came from the original Napster file-sharing service, and Scott as well, as he was with Napster in 2002, where he was DRM Engineer working on the DRM system behind the .NAP media format in the unreleased Napster 2.0 client.

The company took its name from “meme”, a term coined by biologist Richard Dawkins to describe the ideas and cultural phenomena that spread as if they had a life of their own. (Meme was based on the word gene as it shows how ideas can act like genes.)

From 2002 to 2004, he worked as a research engineer for Qualys, before he joined imeme.

Prior to Napster, between 1999 and 2002, Scott was the Streaming Media Dude at Myplay Inc. He developed Myplay’s on-demand streaming architecture and real-time radio streaming system, and its media upload and transcoding system. He also created tools and algorithms to identify and block system abuse.

Scott earned his Master’s Degree of Science in Computational Physics in 1995 and his Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Physics and Astronomy in 1994, both from the University of Glasgow.

Author Anne McCaffrey consulted with Scott on the effects of asteroid impacts while writing The Skies of Pern, determining the orbit of the comet and providing advice on how the event should be portrayed.

Scott is one of the original participants of Asteroid Day and was a keynote speaker at the launch in 2015 as well as hosting their regular “Asteroid Update” segments. Watch Asteroids In Video Games | Scott Manley at Asteroid Day 2015.

He is credited as a consultant on the movie Stowaway directed by Joe Penna, according to Joe’s appearance on Corridor Cast he would go beyond the immediate needs of the script and “did the math so it would be ready”.

In recognition of his work as a popular science communicator, asteroid 33434 Scottmanley was named after him. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 18 May 2019 (M.P.C. 114954).

Watch The story of Scott Manley and Asteroid Day 2016.

Visit his LinkedIn profile and his Wikipedia page. Follow him on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.