Opening Keynote

Take your moonshot thinking to the next level with Jenn Gustetic, Program Executive for NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program. Gustetic will deliver the opening keynote at the 2019 ASTC Annual Conference on Saturday, September 21.

Gustetic is an experienced innovator and policy entrepreneur, having served as the Assistant Director for Open Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Program Executive for prizes and challenges at NASA, Co-chair of the Partnership for Public Service’s Innovation Council, and more.

Gustetic will share powerful examples of “moonshots”—including how people and organizations are pursuing grand challenges and how NASA uses cross-sector collaboration to advance its own bold missions. And she’ll reflect on how we might each pursue our own ambitious, yet achievable goals for the future. She’ll inspire you to jumpstart creative new approaches to your work and connect your efforts to the national, global, and interplanetary science and technology innovation work of NASA.

Friedman Dialogues

Don’t miss the Sunday lunch session, the Alan J. Friedman Science Center Dialogues. You will meet three luminaries in science leadership who will discuss the role of public engagement in science in addressing global and local challenges, including mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. The featured, don’t-miss speakers for this session will be:

  • Ellen Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director, National Air and Space Museum, and former NASA Chief Scientist—dialogue participant and discussion catalyst
  • John HoldrenTeresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and former science advisor to President Obama—dialogue participant
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Professor in the Public Administration program at Texas Tech University and Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech—dialogue participant (participating virtually)

Monday Plenary Session Featured Speakers

At the Monday Plenary session, meet Thriving Earth Exchange’s Raj Pandya and fifteen-year-old Stella Bowles.

Pandya will deliver the keynote, speaking about the importance of community science and the role that science and technology centers and museums can play in building “community science capital.” Then Pandya will lead a conversation with Bowles about her water conservation work in Canada.

Pandya directs the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange, which connects scientists to communities—especially historically marginalized communities—to meet needs using scientific solutions. Working together, these scientists and communities design and lead science that focuses on local priorities. Pandya is interested in how the sciences can be more engaging, how inclusivity contributes to scientific innovation and societal relevance, and how the sciences can be allies in advancing equity in society.

Bowles, from Upper LaHave, Nova Scotia, Canada, recently received the Weston Youth Innovation Award from the Ontario Science Center.  Bowles conducted water sampling and successfully worked with local, provincial, and the Canadian federal government to eliminate pipes that dump raw sewage into waterways on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. A force of change, she also teaches other youth to test their local water, sharing the story that kids—armed with good science—can make a difference.

Science in the 6ix Keynote

The closing keynote speaker for Science in the 6ix (Open House Day) on Tuesday, September 24 will be the extraordinary Director X (Julien Christian Lutz), a Canadian film and music video director and producer who has collaborated with entertainers ranging from Drake to Justin Beiber. X is the founder of Operation Cerebral Cortex, a project that seeks to stop gun and mass violence through meditation. Director X will be joined by a mindfulness expert who’ll take us through a collective exercise that will be an ideal complement to the Ontario Science Centre’s new MindWorks exhibition.

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