Keynote Speakers2018-11-07T16:47:47+00:00

Keynote Speakers

Harold BergmanHarold Bergman

Fifty Years of Progress on Environmental Science and Policy: So Now What?

SETAC Founders Award Winner, University of Wyoming

Opening Ceremony | Hall C

Harold L. Bergman retired in 2016 from his positions as Professor of Zoology and Physiology, J.E. Warren Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment, Director of the UW-National Park Service Research Station and Director of the Haub School and the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. Bergman earned a Ph.D. in fisheries biology at Michigan State University in 1973 and has been on the University of Wyoming faculty since 1975. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research articles and edited four books on diverse topics related to his principal research interests in environmental toxicology, fish physiology and environmental policy. He has received numerous research and teaching awards, and he has served on a number of national and international advisory and review panels dealing with environmental and natural resource policy. He is a charter member of SETAC and a SETAC Fellow, served on the SETAC World Council from 1982–1986 and was SETAC President in 1984–1985.

Jessica HeadJessica Head

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Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m. | Hall D

Jessica Head is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University in Montreal. Her career has taken her through industrial, government and academic laboratories in the United States and Canada. Head and her students use molecular biology to improve our understanding of the effects of early life exposure to environmental contaminants in fish and birds. By investigating epigenetic mechanisms underlying responses to contaminants, they hope to understand how exposure early in life affects health throughout life, and even into future generations.

Estelle Robichaux

Estelle Robichaux

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Communicating Science in a Post-Truth World: How to Make Your Messages Stick

Assistant Director of Regional Engagement, COMPASS Science Communication

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m. | Hall D

Communicating beyond your peers as a scientist can be intimidating and sometimes risky. But in the post-truth era of today, it is more important than ever. How can you share what you do, what you know – and most importantly, why it matters – in a way that is clear and engaging while staying true to who you are as a scientist and an individual? What makes people more or less likely to accept new information? Is it possible to build trust when there is political polarization or when trust has broken down? In this talk, we’ll discuss these themes, highlight stories of scientists who have effectively communicated their science and focus on skills to successfully communicate with various audiences.

Robichaux is Assistant Director of Regional Engagement for COMPASS, a science policy and science communication organization. Her work with COMPASS focuses on engaging with and connecting scientists and decision-makers on natural resource issues throughout the western United States. Robichaux is motivated by a strong belief that all types of scholarship and science need to be brought into decision-making in order to effectively address the increasingly complex environmental issues faced by society. A key part of this work is training and empowering scientists to engage in public dialogue and be the communicators of their own research.

Robichaux has a broad background in the environmental sciences, spanning large-scale ecosystem restoration, adaptive management and environmental policy. She previously worked for the Environmental Defense Fund on coastal restoration in her home state of Louisiana and for the State of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. She received her B.A. in economics and French from Wellesley College. Robichaux received her M.S. in Interdisciplinary Ecology, with a concentration in Wetland Sciences, from the University of Florida, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and qualifying exams focused on environmental policy.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson

Creating a Good Anthropocene

Science Fiction Writer

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m. | Hall D

Please join us in the SETAC Square for a book signing following his keynote. Robinson’s books New York 2140 (2017) and Red Moon (release date is 23 October 2018) will be available for purchase.  

One of the great visionary science fiction writers and storytellers of our time, Kim Stanley Robinson will address the relation of the scientific community to the general society, in particular concerning climate change, to address what we might have to do to create a good Anthropocene. Always “hoping for better and fearing for the worst,” as Robinson said, we live in a time where human activity significantly alters the natural environment, so how can we use our knowledge and take responsibility for what we are already doing to “unwreck biomes” and create something good.

Robinson is an American science fiction writer. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the international bestselling Mars trilogy and more recently New York 2140, Aurora, Shaman, Green Earth and 2312, which was a New York Times bestseller nominated for all seven of the major science fiction awards—a first for any book. He was sent to the Antarctic by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers’ Program in 1995 and returned in their Antarctic media program in 2016. In 2008 he was named a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and UC San Diego’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination. His work has been translated into 25 languages and won a dozen awards in five countries, including the Hugo, Nebula, Locus and World Fantasy awards. In 2016 he was given the Heinlein Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction, and asteroid 72432 was named “Kimrobinson.” In 2017 he was given the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society.

To learn more about Robinson, listen to a podcast with the author featured on the Smithonian.

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