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 over 45 countries 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.

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Massimo Pigliucci (USA/Italy) Professor of Philosophy, City College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York
Session 1: Building a Dialogue on Evidence and Values: Overcoming Science Denialism

Abhilash Mishra (USA/India)

Director, Kevin Xu Initiative on Science, Technology, and Global Development, University of Chicago
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
Amardeo Sarma (Germany) Chair, Gesellschaft zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung von Parawissenschaften (Society for the Scientific Investigation of Parasciences)
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: Understanding How Science Works

Richard Gallagher (USA/UK)

President & Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews, Publisher, Knowable Magazine
Ayelet Baram-Tsabari (Israel) Associate Professor, Faculty of Education in Science and Technology, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology
Stuart Firestein (USA) Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University
Simon Singh (UK) Author, journalist, and TV producer, specializing in science and mathematics
Masataka Watanabe (Japan) Specially Appointed Professor, Tohoku University
Session 3: Vaccine Denialism: Death by Misinformation
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
Fara Ndiaye (Senegal) Deputy Executive Director, Speak Up Africa
Kavin Senapathy (USA) Science, health, and parenting writer
Session 4: Dousing the Fires of Climate Change Denial

Tim Mendham (Australia)

Executive Officer, Australian Skeptics
François-Marie Bréon (France) Climatology Researcher, Association Française pour l’Information Scientifique (French Association for Scientific Information)
Joanne Chory (USA) Professor and Director, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
John Cook (USA) Research Assistant Professor, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University
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
Joe Schwarcz (Canada) Chemist and Director, Office for Science and Society, McGill University
Natália Pasternak Taschner (Brazil) President, Instituto Questão de Ciência (Question of Science Institute)
Session 6: Feeding Ten Billion Mouths: Food Biotechnology for a Sustainable Future
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


Gonzalo Argandoña (Chile) Science journalist and astronomy disseminator; Founder, Cabala Producciones
Mahaletchumy Arujanan (Malaysia) Global Coordinator, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA); Executive Director, Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC)
Faris Bukhamsin (Saudi Arabia) CEO, Scientific Saudi
Yeongoo Choi (South Korea) Director General for Cooperation in Science Culture, Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity
George Claassen (South Africa) Director, Centre for Science and Technology Mass Communication (CENSCOM), University of Stellenbosch
Daria Denisova (Russia) Director, Science Communication and Outreach Office, ITMO University
Thomas Dorlo (Netherlands) Pharmacometrician and clinical pharmacology expert; Board Member, Vereniging tegen de Kwaksalverij (Dutch Society Against Quackery)
Çiler Dursun (Turkey) Chair, Department of Journalism, Ankara University; Scientific Coordinator, Genovate
Ahmed El-Ghandour (Egypt) Founder and presenter, Al-Daheeh YouTube show
Ronnie Ellenblum (Israel) Professor, Historical Geography and Environmental History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Cary Funk (USA) Director, Science and Society Research, Pew Research Center
Susan Gerbic (USA) Founder, Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia
Akram Ghadimi (Iran) Associate Professor, Department of Popularization of Science, National Research Institute for Science Policy
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
Safa Khalaf (Jordan) Community Outreach Officer, Phi Science Institute
Claire Klingenberg (Czech Republic) President, European Council of Skeptical Organizations (ECSO)
Marko Krstić (Serbia) Acting Director, Centar za Promociju Nauke (Center for the Promotion of Science)
Mahmoud Bukar Maina (Nigeria) Founder, Science Communication Hub Nigeria
Mouhannad Malek (Syria/Germany) Founder and Chairman, Syrian Researchers
Qaiser Majeed Malik (Pakistan) Chairman, Pakistan Science Foundation
Afy Malungu Bobyondo (Democratic Republic of Congo) Environmental communication practitioner; freelance editor,
Michael Marshall (UK) Project Director, Good Thinking Society
João Lourenço Monteiro (Portugal) Vice President, COMCEPT: Comunidade Céptica Portuguesa (Portuguese Skeptical Community)
Winniefred Nanteza (Uganda) Development Communication Officer, National Agricultural Research Organisation
Michel Naud (France) Director, Former President, Association Française pour l’Information Scientifique (French Association for Scientific Information)
Carlos Orsi (Brazil) Editor-in-Chief, Questão de Ciência (Question of Science) magazine
Alexander Panchin (Russia) Senior Researcher, Institute for Information Transmission Problems (Kharkevich Institute) and Member, Commission on Pseudoscience and Research Fraud, Russian Academy of Sciences
Avital Percher (USA) Director of Partnerships, National Science Policy Network (NSPN); American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Rodrigo Pérez Ortega (USA/Mexico) Freelance science journalist; founding member, Mexican Network of Science Journalists
Massimo Polidoro (Italy) Executive Director, Comitato Italiano per il Controllo delle Affermazioni sul paranormale (Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal)
Inez Ponce de Leon (Philippines) Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Ateneo de Manila University
Ángela Posada-Swafford (USA/Colombia) Science, environment, and exploration journalist, lecturer, moderator, and book author
Mohamed Qasem (Kuwait) Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics Engineering, College of Technological Studies; consultant on digital science content, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS)
Alberto Quadrio Curzio (Italy) Economics Professor; President Emeritus, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Cees Renckens (Netherlands) Chair, Vereniging tegen de Kwaksalverij (Dutch Society Against Quackery)
Giovanni Rezza (Italy) Director, Department of Infectious Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Juan A. Rodríguez (Spain) Secretary, ARP–Sociedad para el Avance del Pensamiento Crítico (Society for the Advancement of Critical Thinking); Editor, El Escéptico (The Skeptic) magazine
Iida Ruishalme (Finland/Switzerland) Biologist and science communicator; author of Thoughtscapism blog
Gianna Savoie (New Zealand / USA) Director of Filmmaking, Center for Science Communication, University of Otago; Executive Director, Ocean Media Institute
Ximena Serrano Gil (Colombia) President, Asociación Colombiana de Periodismo Científico (Colombia Association of Science Journalists)
Emily Shore (Canada) Public Affairs and Communications Director, Office for Science and Society, McGill University
Sunil Babu Shrestha (Nepal) Vice-Chancellor, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology
Roxana Tabakman (Argentina) Health writer and science journalist
Thomas Tagoe (Ghana) Lecturer, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Ghana; Co-Founder, GhScientific
Tenaw Terefe (Ethiopia) Assistant Professor, Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Addis Ababa University

Support for the Aspen Global Science Congress comes from the Aspen Institute Italia; Natália Pasternak Taschner, Ph.D., Question of Science Institute, Brazil; and the Aspen Institute Nakasone Scholarship Fund.