2011 Past Speakers

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Joanna Fowler

Dr. Joanna Fowler has had a distinguished career in the development of radiotracers for positron emission tomography (PET) using organic synthesis and radiochemistry with applications for studying health and disease in human beings.


Gene Likens

Gene E. Likens is president and director of the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. Dr. Likens’ research focuses on the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest and aquatic ecosystems, primarily through long-term studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


Rick Sordelet

Rick Sordelet is a physical action director who has choreographed 52 Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Tarzan, Aida, The Scottsboro Boys and That Championship Season. His work in film as a stunt coordinator includes: The Game Plan, Dan in Real Life and Hamlet.


Sally Stapleton

Sally Stapleton is the former deputy executive photo editor of The Associated Press. During her tenure as the international editor, Stapleton led a team of photographers, based in Africa, to two Pulitzer Prizes in photography.


Donald Lindberg

Dr. Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine, has been a pioneer in the application of computer technology to health care beginning in 1960 at the University of Missouri. In addition to an eminent career in pathology, Dr. Lindberg has made notable contributions to information and computer activities in medical diagnosis, artificial intelligence and educational programs.


Joyce Mitchell

Dr. Joyce A. Mitchell obtained her doctorate in population genetics from the University of Wisconsin with postdoctoral training in clinical genetics. She is certified as a medical geneticist by the American Board of Medical Genetics and the American College of Medical Genetics.


Thomas Kemper

Thomas L. Kemper, M.D., received his medical degree from the University of Illinois School of Medicine with residency training in internal medicine at the Rush-Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. Kemper’s main interests are in brain development, the neuropathology of aging in the monkey brain and in the anatomy of infantile autism.


Ron Phillips

Dr. Ronald L. Phillips is Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Genomics, University of Minnesota. Phillips has coupled the techniques of plant genetics and molecular biology to enhance our understanding of basic biology of cereal crops and to improve these species by innovative methods.


Terry McElwain

Dr. Terry McElwain was instrumental in establishing the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, for which he received the 2006 USDA Administrator’s Award. He has also played a key role in the development of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at WSU.


Roger Reynolds

Roger Reynolds’ singular exploration of sound spatialization has helped him create site-responsive works for distinctive architecture (Isozaki’s, Kahn’s, Wright’s and Gehry’s). He has collaborated with John Ashbery (“Whispers Out of Time,” a string orchestra work arising out of an Ashbery poem, garnered him the 1989 Pulitzer Prize.) as well as inventor-philosopher Buckminster Fuller.


Michel Georges

Dr. Michel Georges is known for his research in the field of animal genetics and genomics and in the development of tools and strategies for increasing the efficiency of genome analysis for livestock improvement.


John Mattick

John Mattick is professor of molecular biology and Australian Research Council Federation fellow at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. His research interest is RNA regulation and noncoding DNA in complex organisms.


Mario Biagioli

Mario Biagioli is a distinguished professor of law and science and technology studies at the University of California, Davis. He is also and director of the Center for Innovation Studies. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he is a founding member of the International Society for the Theory and History of Intellectual Property.


Donald Detmer

Don E. Detmer, M.D., is an Institute of Medicine member, medical director of the Division of Advocacy and Health Policy at the American College of Surgeons, past president and CEO of American Medical Informatics Association and professor emeritus and professor of medical education at the University of Virginia.


William Brock

William Brock is Vilas Research Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.His dissertation and early work were on optimal growth theory. His proof of the existence of a growth program that is maximal with respect to the catching-up criterion was an especially notable contribution.


Richard Luthy

Dr. Richard Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor and former chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and senior fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. His area of teaching and research is environmental engineering and water quality.


Elizabeth Ashley

Elizabeth Ashley is an Emmy- and Tony Award-nominated actress, best known for her stage roles in Barefoot in the Park (1963) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1973) and for her role on the television series Evening Shade (1990-1994).


Steven Pinker

Dr. Steven Pinker is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He is also is the chair of the usage panel of The American Heritage Dictionary and has served as editor or adviser for numerous scientific, scholarly, media and humanist organizations. He has won many prizes for his books, his research and his graduate and undergraduate teaching.


Edward Albee

The celebrated playwright Edward Albee has been redefining American theater since the 1950s. In addition to his most renowned piece, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Albee’s body of work includes three Pulitzer Prize-winning plays: A Delicate Balance (1966), Seascape (1975) and Three Tall Women (1994).

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Steven Block

Dr. Steven Block is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Biophysical Society. He is a recipient of the Max Delbrück Prize in Biological Physics from the American Physical Society, the Young Investigator Prize and the Outstanding Investigator in Single Molecule Biophysics Award from the Biophysical Society.


Sudhir Venkatesh

Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in New York. He is a researcher and writer on urban neighborhoods in the U.S. His most recent book, is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press), received a Best Book award from The Economist.


Roger Tsien

Dr. Roger Tsien was the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP. His numerous other awards include the Burks Prize for Outstanding Research in Pharmacology from the Western Pharmacological Society, the Distinguished Scientist Award from the National Heart Association, and the Spiers Memorial Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, Great Britain.


Robert Darnton

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Harvard University Library. He has written and edited two dozen books.


William Ferris

William R. Ferris is the senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of history and an adjunct professor in the curriculum in folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ferris has written more than 100 publications in fields of folklore, American literature, fiction and photography.


Stephen Henderson

Stephen Henderson shares his experiences as an award-winning actor and renowned acting teacher. Henderson is considered one of the foremost interpreters of the August Wilson canon, and he received a Tony nomination and the Richard Seff Award from Actor’s Equity for his performance as Jim Bono in the Broadway revival of Fences, starring Denzel Washington.


Judy Irola

Judy Irola’s awards include the Women’s International Film & Television Showcase International Visionary Award (2009), the Sundance Film Festival Best Cinematography Award (1993, An Ambush of Ghosts) and the Cannes Film Festival Camera d’Or Prize (1979, Northern Lights).