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STEM Speakers

 

Our STEM speakers are prominent figures on the forefront of innovation. Whether they’re creating revolutionary technologies and educating on cybersecurity, or fusing biology and engineering while breaking historic barriers in the field, these diverse scientists and scholars are making waves in the ever-expanding world of STEM.  

 
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Danielle Wood

Director of MIT’s Space Enabled Research Lab | Assistant Prof. of Media Arts and Sciences

Danielle Wood is taking on the imperative task of using space technology to save Earth. Director of MIT’s cutting-edge Space Enabled Research Lab, Wood uses tools that typically orbit us to advance social good on our home planet. In her talks, Wood shows us how to harness the most complex, cosmic technologies to address the here and now. 
Susan Hockfield

President Emerita of MIT | Author of The Age of Living Machines

We’re entering the Age of Living Machines, where biology and engineering converge to create revolutionary technologies that will transform our world. Susan Hockfield—President Emerita of MIT and a leading voice in the STEM fields—is the preeminent speaker on this new “convergence.” 
Dan Riskin

Evolutionary Biologist | Former Co-Host of Daily Planet

To evolutionary biologist, TV host, and bestselling author Dan Riskin, picking his scientific focus was easy. “I had a crush on bats,” he says. Maybe you don’t share the sentiment, but there’s a strong chance that you feel passionate about something. A charismatic speaker, Riskin will encourage you to nourish your own “crush” through curiosity and study—and to never apologize for it.   
Ellen Ochoa

The first Hispanic Woman in Space | Dir. of NASA Johnson Space Center (2013-2018)

Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman ever to go to space. She’s also only the second female Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center—where she led the human space flight enterprise for the nation from 2013 to 2018. As an in-demand science speaker, she touches on resonant issues that have defined her historic career: What can we learn about change, innovation, and the culture of teams from her time at the upper reaches of NASA’s leadership? 
Jordan Ellenberg

Author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

How early should you get to the airport? Why do tall parents have shorter children? What’s the best way to get rich playing the lottery? Jordan Ellenberg shows us how math touches everything we do, putting the power in our hands—in business and in life. 
Susan Fowler

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2017 | #MeToo and STEM speaker

Susan Fowler is a central figure in the #MeToo movement. Named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year as one of the silence breakers, Fowler is the former Uber engineer whose viral blog post ignited an ongoing, worldwide conversation. That’s Fowler’s public narrative. But her personal story—a homeschooled science nerd, a woman in STEM against massive odds—is equally fascinating. 
 
David Kong

Director of MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative

At the MIT Media Lab, science speaker David Kong is a passionate, brilliant exponent of biotechnology: the next major scientific innovation to transform life as we know it. But to start the revolution—and for human creativity to flourish—we need STEM to be inclusive: fusing tech with art, granting all people access to advanced science, and re-visioning what labs, classrooms, and companies look like.
 
Heather Payne

Founder and CEO of Juno College | Founder of Ladies Learning Code

Heather Payne is the founder of Ladies Learning Code, a national not-for-profit organization that runs popular workshops for women and girls, a traditionally underrepresented demographic in the programming world. Named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, she is revolutionizing our approach to technology, education, and entrepreneurship.  
Margot Lee Shetterly

Author of Hidden Figures: the #1 New York Times bestseller, and inspiration for the #1 movie.

Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures—a #1 NYT bestseller and inspiration for a #1 movie in America—is the true story of the black women mathematicians at NASA who helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. In talks, Shetterly celebrates these unsung heroes, teasing out issues of race, gender, science, and innovation against the backdrop of WWII and the Civil Rights Era.
 
Minette Norman

Former VP of Engineering Practice, Autodesk | Speaker on Transformative Leadership

At Autodesk—a world leader in software tech—the most qualified person to lead 3,500 engineers and transform company culture isn’t yet another male engineer. It’s Minette Norman, a Liberal Arts major and living proof that women are transformative leaders.
Tarah Wheeler

Cybersecurity Expert | Author of Women in Tech

Cybersecurity attacks are doubling every year. Phishing scams are at an all-time high. These days, it isn’t an IT flunky answering for security breaches, it’s CEOs and business owners, non-tech professionals who need clear, actionable guides and information on how to secure themselves and protect their customer’s data. Enter Tarah Wheeler: one of America’s leading cybersecurity experts and science speakers. 
Sarah Prevette

Innovation Speaker, Founder of Future Design School

“Fall in love with the problem you’re solving—not the solution,” says entrepreneur Sarah Prevette. The founder of Sprouter and BetaKit and co-star of Quit Your Day Job, a reality show about entrepreneurship, Prevette teaches creativity, innovation, and design thinking to some of the country’s biggest business leaders. Her project, Future Design School, is transforming education by fostering entrepreneurship in a classroom setting.
 
Greg Gage

TED Speaker | Neuroscientist | Cofounder and CEO of Backyard Brains

Greg Gage is starting a neuro-revolution—or “neuroscience for the 99%.” That means affordable, DIY labs in classrooms around the world. From his live experiments on the TED stage (now with over 8 million views!) to his appearances on CNN and Netflix, Gage is a brilliant scientist instilling a love for the brain in kids everywhere: a generation poised to cure neurological disorders and spearhead bio-infused design. 
 
John Maeda

Chief Experience Officer at Publicis Sapient | Author of How to Speak Machine (2019)

John Maeda is a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist, educator, and investor whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked to integrate technology, education, and the arts into a 21st-century synthesis of creativity and innovation. In his books and on stage, Maeda champions the necessary role that artists and designers play in the new creative economy.