To arrange an interview with any of the speakers or get a press pass for the event, please contact:

Jane F. Huber
Director of Communications
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Office: (617) 517-9428
Cell: (339) 368-0298
E-mail: jane_huber@radcliffe.harvard.edu




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Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Photo by Rose LincolnPhoto by Rose Lincoln


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Immaculata De Vivo

Courtesy of Immaculata De VivoCourtesy of Immaculata De Vivo


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Stuart Firestein

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Robinson W. Fulweiler

Photo by Melody KoPhoto by Melody Ko

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Alyssa A. Goodman 

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Nathan E. Hultman

Photo courtesy of University of MarylandPhoto courtesy of University of Maryland

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Lisa Kaltenegger

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Jill Tarter

Photo by Seth Shostak, SETI InstitutePhoto by Seth Shostak, SETI Institute


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Tomiko Brown-Nagin | @TBrownNagin
Tomiko Brown-Nagin is dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Daniel P. S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, and professor of history at Harvard University. An award-winning legal historian, Brown-Nagin is an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy. She has published articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, including the Supreme Court’s equal-protection jurisprudence, civil rights law and history, the Affordable Care Act, and education reform. Her book Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, 2011) won six awards, including the Bancroft Prize. In her forthcoming book, Brown-Nagin explores the life and times of Constance Baker Motley, the pathbreaking lawyer, politician, and judge. Brown-Nagin has served as faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute and as codirector of Harvard Law School’s law and history program, among other leadership roles. She earned a law degree from Yale University, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal; a doctorate in history from Duke University; and a BA in history, summa cum laude, from Furman University. Brown-Nagin held the 2016–2017 Joy Foundation Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute.

David Charbonneau | @ExoCharbonneau ‏
David Charbonneau is a professor of astronomy and a Harvard College Professor at Harvard University. His research focuses on the detection and characterization of exoplanets with the goal of studying inhabited worlds and the development of novel methods in support of these efforts. He led the team that made the first discovery of transits of an exoplanet across its parent star; the first study of an exoplanet atmosphere; and the first direct detection of light emitted by an exoplanet. Using data from NASA’s Kepler Mission, Charbonneau and his student Courtney Dressing determined the galactic frequency of occurrence of planets that were similar to Earth in both size and temperature. He leads the MEarth Project to search for nearby Earth-like worlds, and he is on the science team for NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Charbonneau received the Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He earned his PhD in astronomy from Harvard University in 2001, and his BSc in math, physics, and astronomy from the University of Toronto.

Immaculata De Vivo
Immaculata De Vivo is a faculty codirector of the science program at the Radcliffe Institute, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School for Public Health. Her unique interdisciplinary approach combines molecular biology, genetics, and epidemiology to understand the impact of natural variation on cancer risk. De Vivo is also a leader in the field of telomere biology. Her research addresses the relationship between the lengths of telomeric repeats at the ends of chromosomes and susceptibility to disease, especially cancer. Her work has been recognized with the American Cancer Society’s Research Scholar Grant. In 2010, De Vivo was named director of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Genotyping and Genetics for Population Sciences Core, and she is coleader of the National Cancer Institute–supported Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium, an international consortium that includes 40 studies from Asia, Europe, and the United States. She was recently named the editor-In-chief of the internationally recognized journal Cancer Causes & Control. De Vivo received her doctorate and MPH from Columbia University. She did postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Stanford University, where she received a competitive fellowship award from Stanford Immunology.

Joel T. Dudley
Joel T. Dudley is an associate professor of genetics and genomic sciences and founding director of the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In 2017, he was awarded the Mount Sinai Endowed Chair in Biomedical Data Science, and he is the executive vice president for precision health for the Mount Sinai Health System. His work is focused at the nexus of -omics, digital health, artificial intelligence, scientific wellness, and healthcare delivery. Appearing in such scientific journals as Neuron and Science, Dudley’s work has also been featured on CNBC and in MIT Technology ReviewScientific American, the Wall Street Journal, and other popular media outlets. He is a coauthor of Exploring Personal Genomics (Oxford University Press, 2013). Fast Company named him to its Most Creative People 2014 list. Dudley received a BS in microbiology from Arizona State University and an MS and PhD in biomedical informatics from Stanford University School of Medicine. Prior to Mount Sinai, he held positions as cofounder and director of informatics at NuMedii, Inc., and consulting professor of systems medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford Medicine.

Stuart Firestein
Stuart Firestein is the former chair of Columbia University’s Department of Biological Sciences, where his laboratory studies the vertebrate olfactory system, possibly the best chemical detector on the face of the planet. Aside from its molecular detection capabilities, the olfactory system serves as a model for investigating general principles and mechanisms of signaling and perception in the brain. Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience, Firestein serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics. He was awarded the 2010–2011 Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Guggenheim Fellow, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant recipient. At Columbia, he is on the advisory boards of the Center for Science and Society and of the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience, both centers for interdisciplinary work between the sciences and humanities. His books Ignorance: How It Drives Science (Oxford University Press, 2012) and Failure: Why Science Is So Successful (Oxford University Press, 2015) have been translated into 12 languages. He earned a PhD in neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley.

Robinson W. Fulweiler
Robinson W. (Wally) Fulweiler is a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist interested in how humans alter coastal environments. She is a tenured assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environment and the Department of Biology at Boston University (BU) and became the director of the BU Marine Program in 2016. Her research group is focused on answering fundamental questions about energy flow and biogeochemical cycling of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica), carbon, and oxygen across the land-ocean continuum. Fulweiler is particularly interested in how anthropogenic changes effect the ecology and elemental cycling of ecosystems on a variety of scales. Current research is centered on the transformations and the ultimate fate of nitrogen in the marine environment; the impact of climate change on benthic-pelagic coupling; silicon cycling in forests, salt marshes, and urban systems; and the environmental controls on greenhouse gas emissions in coastal systems. She was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2012, the first time this award was given in ocean sciences, and the Cronin Award from the Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation in 2013. Fulweiler earned her PhD from the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and conducted a postdoc at Louisiana State University.

Alyssa A. Goodman | @AlyssaAGoodman
The Robert Wheeler Willson Professor of Applied Astronomy at Harvard University, Alyssa A. Goodman codirects the science program at the Radcliffe Institute, where she was also the 2016–2017 Edward, Frances, and Shirley B. Daniels Fellow. Her work spans astronomy, data visualization, science education, and the use of technology in academic research and teaching. Recently, she has focused on the history, science, and art of making predictions from ancient Mesopotamia to modern computer simulation of climate change. Before joining the Harvard faculty, Goodman was a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. She won the 1997 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy, was elected a fellow of the AAAS in 2009, and was selected the 2015 Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation. Goodman earned an undergraduate degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her PhD in physics from Harvard.

Nathan E. Hultman | @natehultman
Nathan E. Hultman is the director of the Center for Global Sustainability and an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2014 to 2016, Hultman worked at the White House on the Obama administration’s climate and energy policy team. During this time, he helped develop the US 2025 climate target; worked on US bilateral engagements with Brazil, China, India, and others; and participated in international climate negotiations. His research focuses on US emissions mitigation policy, energy technology transitions, and international climate policy. He was recently lead author of Fulfilling America’s Pledge: How States, Cities, and Businesses Are Leading the United States to a Low-Carbon Future (Bloomberg Philanthropies, 2018). He has participated in the UN climate process since the Kyoto meeting and was a contributing author to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report and Special Report on Renewable Energy. Hultman was formerly a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford, Fulbright scholar, and NASA Graduate Student Fellowship in Earth Systems Science. He holds an MS and PhD in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in physics from Carleton College.

Lisa Kaltenegger | @KalteneggerLisa ‏
Lisa Kaltenegger is the director of the Carl Sagan Institute and an associated professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University. Her research focuses on modeling rocky planets and super-Earths, especially on how to detect signs of life on other worlds. The light fingerprint of a planet allows us to explore other worlds over large comic distances away. Kaltenegger actively works on the search for life on other worlds. Recently, she delivered the 2017 Kavli Fulldom Lecture Series and received the 2014 Christian Doppler Prize from the Land Salzburg government and a 2012 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize from the German Research Foundation. TIME featured Kaltenegger in its 2014: A User’s Guide issue, the European Commission selected her as a role model for its “Women in Research and Innovation” campaign in 2012, and Smithsonian magazine included her among America’s Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences in 2007. The asteroid 7734 Kaltenegger is named after her. She earned her PhD and master’s in astrophysics from the University of Graz and a master’s in physics and engineering from Graz University of Technology.

Laura Kreidberg | @lkreidberg
Laura Kreidberg is a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and an ITC Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she studies the atmospheres of extrasolar planets—worlds beyond the solar system. The goal of her work is to determine the origins and current nature of these planetary systems and eventually search their atmospheres for signs of life. Kreidberg’s discoveries include “Clouds in the Atmosphere of the Super-Earth Exoplanet GJ 1214b” (Nature, 2014), “A Precise Water Abundance Measurement for the Hot Jupiter WASP-43” (Astrophysical Journal Letters, 2014), and “Global Climate and Atmospheric Composition of the Ultra-Hot Jupiter WASP-103b from HST and Spitzer Phase Curve Observations” (Astronomical Journal, 2018). In recognition for this work, she has received the International Astronomical Union PhD Prize for Division F, the pH Lectureship from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, a William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship and a Plotnick Fellowship from the University of Chicago, the Peter B. Wagner Memorial Award for Women in Atmospheric Sciences, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, and the George Beckwith Prize from Yale University. Kreidberg received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2016.

Ceili Magnus
Ceili Magnus, a Barnstable High School senior, is an avid astronomy and poetry enthusiast. She has been a regional and state finalist in the national poetry recitation competition Poetry Out Loud. However, Magnus is more interested and takes far more pride in writing her own poems and short stories about the universe around her. Her writing is heavily influenced by her experience in the field of astronomy. Through years of careful observation and endless practice, she has found a unique way to unify her passions of art and science. Magnus hopes to become a self-published author in the coming years and a positive influence in education and the arts.

Jill Tarter | @jilltarter ‏
Jill Tarter is the Chair Emeritus for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California, and serves as a member of the board of trustees for that institution. She has spent the majority of her professional career attempting to answer the old human question “Are we alone?” by searching for evidence of technological civilizations beyond Earth. Tarter has received many honors for her scientific research and educational efforts. She is a president emeritus of the trustees of California Academy of Sciences. At SETI, she has served in a leadership role to design and build the Allen Telescope Array and to secure private funding to continue the institute’s exploratory science. Twice named to lists of influential people by TIME magazine, Tarter was the winner of the 2009 TED Prize, and she delivered an associated TED talk. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2015, the Liberty Science Center honored her at its Genius Gala 4.0. Sarah Scoles recently wrote her biography, titled Making Contact: Jill Tarter and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Pegasus Books, 2017). She earned an MA and a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

Conevery Bolton Valencius | @Conevery
Conevery Bolton Valencius is a professor of history and environmental studies at Boston College, where she writes and teaches about environmental history, the history of science and medicine, American energy, and the US Civil War. She is the author of The Health of the Country: How American Settlers Understood Themselves and Their Land, (Basic Books, 2002), her award-winning first book, and The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes (University of Chicago Press, 2013), an investigation of seismic upheaval along the Mississippi Valley. Valencius is currently working with the Dallas-based journalist Anna Kuchment on a book about induced earthquakes and the shale boom. They are investigating scientific controversy, the history of seismology, and public knowledge of science, especially in parts of the country too often dismissed as “fly-over country.” Valencius grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, earned a BA in history from Stanford, and got a PhD in the history of science at Harvard University, where she is currently on the Environmental History Working Group. She has held fellowships from the Dibner Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute, where she was the 2016–2017 Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow.