JAMES BARRAT - Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, James Barrat has made a career of introducing lay audiences to complex ideas in engaging and provocative ways. Barrat’s talk is about what’s wrong with the development and application of advanced artificial intelligence. It’s about short term problems – like unemployment and autonomous killer drones – and the long term specter of sharing our planet with machines a thousand or a million times more intelligent than we are. If we fail to learn how to control these machines before we create them, we’ll have to rely on their ‘kindness’ to survive. Will machines naturally love and protect us? Do we want to bet our existence on it?
MICHAEL BELFIORE - Author and Speaker on Innovation
Michael inspires audiences to connect with their own passions and talents, use university resources to reach for their dreams, and connect with others to help realize them. He details how small teams of people with limited resources are quite literally changing the world, providing a firsthand account of ordinary people doing the extraordinary. Along the way he shows how anyone can accomplish their goals and find a place in the world, both in an academic setting and beyond.
DEANNE BELL - Spicing Up Your STEM Life
Deanne brings a unique blend of expertise and youthful zeal to her talks about science and technology careers, and she is living proof that engineering resumes are far from boring. Throughout her talk, Deanne presents examples of successful engineers and scientists who, despite having similar educations, are impacting our world in very different ways, and she turns broad ideas of innovation into a personal challenge for her audience.
DANIEL BELTRÁ - Documenting Man's Impact on the Planet
Documenting the forces and impacts of climate change can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but for over thirty years Daniel Beltrá has been traveling the world to shine a light on the dramatic changes afflicted on our fragile ecosystems. In his presentations, Beltrá views the climate crisis with hope and optimism for the opportunity it presents to us to make long overdue changes. He brings you along on his journeys while witnessing global shifts from Greenland and the Arctic Circle, to the world’s great tropical rainforests in the Amazon, Indonesia and the Congo, to Antarctica.
KARI BYRON - Crash Test Girl
Over the past decade Kari Byron – TV’s favorite female science geek — has become a strong presence in the world of reality based television. She is best known for hosting Discovery Channel’s iconic cult-classic MythBusters, where Kari and her cohorts filmed over 7,200 hours, tested over 900 myths, set off 850 explosions, and used 43,500 yards of duct tape. To examine each urban legend, they applied the scientific method: question, hypothesize, experiment, analyze, and ultimately, come to conclusions.
DR. KARA COONEY - The Woman Who Would Be King
Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaoh at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced and hosted a comparative archaeology television series with her husband, Neil Crawford, entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Amazon.
DAVID GALLO - Underwater Astonishments
David Gallo is an American oceanographer and explorer. He was Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – a preeminent, globally recognized scientific laboratory. For more than 30 years, David has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in and being witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of planet earth. He has been described by TED Conferences as “an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.” With nearly 13 million views his TED presentation “Underwater Astonishments” has been among the all-time top TED Talks.
Hugh-Herr-Menu-smlHUGH HERR - Leader of the Bionic Age
Hugh Herr is creating bionic limbs that emulate the function of natural limbs. Time Magazine coined Dr. Herr the ‘Leader of the Bionic Age’ because of his revolutionary work in the emerging field of Biomechatronics – technology that marries human physiology with electromechanics. A double amputee himself, he is responsible for breakthrough advances in bionic limbs that provide greater mobility and new hope to those with physical disabilities. He is currently Associate Professor of the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab.
ROBERT J. LANG - Origami from Tsuru to Satellites
Robert J. Lang is recognized as one of the foremost origami artists in the world as well as a pioneer in computational origami and the development of formal design algorithms for folding. He is a full-time artist and consultant on origami and its applications to engineering problems and his work spans the worlds of mathematics, physics, lasers, sculpture, and fine art. His art has been exhibited at more than 50 exhibitions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and international exhibitions in Paris and Austria.
NIALL MCCANN - Notes from the Conservation Front Line
Adventurer-biologist Niall McCann takes audiences on an amazing journey as he describes his often dangerous work researching endangered species in remote and challenging environments. He describes how he’s been able to bridge the gap between science and policy while having a direct impact on international conservation.
DR. JAMES MCCLINTOCK - Lost Antarctica: Climate Change on the Antarctic Peninsula
Imagine diving into the crystal-clear, icy waters of Antarctica only to encounter a seafloor carpeted with a dazzling array of seaweeds, colorful sponges, soft corals, sea squirts, sea anemones, and starfish. Above the seafloor swim pulsating jellyfish and sea butterflies. Antarctic fish, their blood enriched with antifreeze, and an abundance of krill-eating penguins, seals, and whales, round out an amazing diversity of marine life. Dr. James McClintock has spent his entire career studying this remarkable icy world. His presentations bring to life not only its delicate ecology, but its unsurpassed beauty.
GEOFF NOTKIN - Rock Star - Adventures of a Meteorite Man
Twenty years ago, Geoff Notkin did the one thing that everyone thinks about, but very few dare to do. He ditched his job as an art director and rock ‘n’ roll musician in Manhattan, and embarked on a daring quest for the elusive quarry he’d dreamed of since childhood: meteorites. The hunt for rare rocks from space – often worth more than gold – took Notkin, now a two-time Emmy Award winner, to the far reaches of the planet and led to his starring role in the multi award-winning adventure TV series Meteorite Men, currently airing worldwide on Discovery Science and other networks.
SCIENCE OF TELEVISION - David Berman & Jon Wellner
For the last 15 years David and Jon’s company, Entertainment Research Consultants (ERC) has been providing this crucial service for the industry. In this unique presentation, Jon and David will detail the exciting scienceoftelevision-RBprocess of how each episode of procedural television is created, from the story’s conception in the writers room all the way through post production and finally on to your television screen. You’ll learn how the world’s most popular TV shows are researched and view excerpts that illustrate how that information is incorporated into each episode.
ShermerMenu-small-15DR. MICHAEL SHERMER - Why People Believe Weird Things; The Science of Good & Evil; Does God Exist?
Ever wonder why people believe in UFO abductions, mind-reading, reincarnation, urban legends, not to mention "scientific creationism" and the pernicious myth that the Holocaust never happened? Where do we get our system of beliefs? If we evolved by natural forces then what was the natural purpose of morality? Did God create man or did man create God? Dr. Michael Shermer, the Founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, is a genuine ghost-buster, a relentless crusader against superstition and pseudoscience.
jill-tarter-smJILL TARTER - Are We Alone?
Jill Tarter is deeply involved in the education of future citizens and scientists. In addition to her scientific leadership at NASA and SETI Institute, Tarter has been the Principal Investigator for two curriculum development projects funded by NSF, NASA, and others. Tarter is a frequent speaker for science teacher meetings and at museums and science centers, bringing her commitment to science and education to both teachers and the public. Many people are now familiar with her work as portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact.
Reed-Timmer-smlREED TIMMER - Extreme Storm Chaser, Meteorologist
Having intercepted over 250 tornadoes and a dozen powerful hurricanes during the last decade, Reed Timmer is well-known as the most successful and extreme storm chaser in the world. Not only is Reed one of the few people in existence to document both an F5 tornado, and the most devastating hurricane in U.S. history (Hurricane Katrina), but also graduated with a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma in 2009.
JONATHAN WATERMAN - Plastic Garbage Patch
We’ve all heard of the so-called “Plastic Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean. But what’s this Island of Plastic really all about? In the fall of 2012, the renowned adventurer and conservationist Jonathan Waterman decided to investigate. Setting out as the ship journalist from San Diego on a two-masted sailboat, he wrote dispatches for the National Geographic and learned the shocking truth about our plastic oceans.
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