Keynote Speaker

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2019 Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Jo Handelsman

Dr. Jo Handelsman is the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, a Vilas Research Professor, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama in the position of Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) where she served for three years until January 2017. Prior to her national service, she was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin and Yale University.

Dr. Handelsman received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin--Madison in Molecular Biology and has since authored over 100 papers, 30 editorials, and 5 books. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies in microbial communication and work in the field of metagenomics. She is also widely recognized for her contributions to science education and diversity in science. Notably, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring from President Obama in 2011. In 2012, Nature named her one of “ten people who mattered this year” for her research on gender bias in science.

Dr. Handelsman will deliver a keynote address on "Studentsourcing Antibiotic Discovery" as well as lead two breakout sessions:

“Changing the World through Science” - Dr. Handelsman will describe her scientific career as she moved from the University to the White House and back again.

“The Fallacy of Fairness: Unconscious Bias in Science” - Dr. Jo Handelsman will discuss current research in science education. (faculty only)