Science and Technology

Aspen Global Congress on Scientific Thinking and Action

Event information
Wed Mar 25, 2020 - Sat Mar 28, 2020
Sala del Trono, Aspen Institute Italia, Piazza Navona, 114, Rome, Italy
This event is by invitation only add to calendar

The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program (New York, USA) and the Instituto Questão de Ciência (Question of Science Institute, São Paulo, Brazil), in collaboration with the Aspen Institute Italia (Rome, Italy) are organizing the Aspen Global Congress on Scientific Thinking and Action in Rome, March 25–28, 2020.

This meeting will gather leaders from around the world actively working locally and globally on implementing scientific and rational approaches to policymaking and education. Through presentations by leading experts, small-group breakout sessions, and large-group discussions, the meeting aims to aid in the design and implementation of strategies of science communication on themes that transcend geographical boundaries.

By connecting science communication and policy leaders from around the world, the meeting will facilitate opportunities for participants to learn how to support one another; to outline mechanisms for construction and signing of international documents; to develop a workplan for running events and campaigns; and to design a roadmap for future global work. Currently, many regional science organizations do not have strong relations with or even knowledge of their cousin organizations elsewhere in the world. This meeting aims to build bridges between those groups. We anticipate participation from 40+ countries.

Tentatively confirmed speakers include:


Massimo Pigliucci (USA/Italy) Professor of Philosophy, City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Session 1: Epistemology and Science Denialism

Cornelia Betsch (Germany) German Research Foundation–Heisenberg Professor of Health Communication, Universität-Erfurt
Lee McIntyre (USA) Research Fellow, Center for Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University
Joy Yueyue Zhang (China/UK) Senior Lecturer in Sociology, School of Social Policy, Sociology, and Social Research, University of Kent

Session 2: Science Literacy and Popularization

Ayelet Baram-Tsabari (Israel) Associate Professor, Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Simon Singh (UK) Author, journalist, and TV producer, specializing in science and mathematics
Masataka Watanabe (Japan) Director, Office for Strategy of Public Relations, Professor, University of Tsukuba
Stuart Firestein (USA) Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University

Session 3: Communication of Vaccination Safety and Importance

Agnès Binagwaho (Rwanda) Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity
Noel Brewer (USA) Professor, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Ovidiu Covaciu (Romania) Founder and President, Romania Rationalist Society
Kavin Senapathy (USA) Science, health, and parenting writer

Session 4: Science and Communication of Climate Change

John Cook (USA) Research Assistant Professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
Joanne Chory (USA) Professor and Director, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Fu Jun (China) Professor and Executive Dean, School of Government, Peking University

Session 5: Risks and Dangers of Alternative Medicine

Edzard Ernst (UK) Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter
Narendra Nayak (India) President, Federation of Indian Rationalists Association
Natália Pasternak Taschner (Brazil) President, Instituto Questão de Ciência (Question of Science Institute)

Session 6: Safety and Benefits of Genetically Modified Organisms

Angela Bearth (Switzerland) Professor of Consumer Behavior, Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zürich
Jon Entine (USA) Founder and Executive Director, Genetic Literacy Project
Sarah Davidson Evanega (USA) Director, Cornell Alliance for Science, Cornell University
Margaret Karembu (Kenya) Director, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) AfriCenter

Confirmed Participants:

Gonzalo Argandoña (Chile) Science journalist and astronomy disseminator; Founder, Cabala Producciones
George Claassen (South Africa) Director, Centre for Science and Technology Mass Communication (CENSCOM), University of Stellenbosch
Susan Gerbic (USA) Founder, Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia
Islam Hussein (Egypt/USA) Virologist, drug discovery researcher, and science communication enthusiast
Barry Karr (USA) Executive Director, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
Stéphane Kenmoe (Cameroon) Scientist, science communicator, and television personality
Mahmoud Bukar Maina (Nigeria) Founder, Science Communication Hub Nigeria
João Lourenço Monteiro (Portugal) Vice President, COMCEPT: Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa (Portuguese Skeptical Community)
Carlos Orsi (Brazil) Editor-in-Chief, Questão de Ciência (Question of Science) magazine
Amardeo Sarma (Germany) Chair, Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften (Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences)
Ximena Serrano Gil (Colombia) President, Asociación Colombiana de Periodismo Científico (Colombia Association of Science Journalists)
Iida Ruishalme (Finland/Switzerland) Biologist and science communicator; author of Thoughtscapism blog
Roxanna Tabakman (Argentina) Health writer and science journalist
Tenaw Terefe (Ethiopia) Assistant Professor, Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Addis Ababa University