Science & Society Program Advisory Council

The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program is guided by an Advisory Council that comprises experts and thought leaders who engage with science in society from myriad angles: academia, industry, education, journalism, public institutions, advocacy, finance, and the arts. Together, this group helps the program

  • Define critical societal issues that cause gaps in public trust in, and/or understanding of, science;
  • Delineate the obstacles toward realizing a more diverse and creative scientific workforce;
  • Brainstorm feasible strategies to address these challenges; and
  • Identify potential strategic and collaborative partners to enact change.

The Advisory Council held its first meeting on April 20, 2020.

Science & Society Program Advisory Council Members

Nsikan Akpan, Ph.D.
Co-Chair
National Geographic Science Editor

Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D.
Co-Chair
Molecular biologist, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, UCSF Professor Emerita of Biochemistry and Biophysics, former Salk Institute President

Arlene Blum, Ph.D.
Biophysical chemist, author, mountaineer, Green Science Policy Institute Executive Director


Joy Buolamwini
Poet of code who uses art and research to illuminate social implications of artificial intelligence, Algorithmic Justice League Founder, Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech (youngest)

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D.
Oncologist, former Gates Foundation CEO, former UCSF Chancellor

Judy Gradwohl
San Diego Natural History Museum President and CEO

Lauren Gunderson
Playwright and author who brings stories of science into┬áthe spotlight, currently recognized as America’s most produced living playwright

Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg, M.D.
Former American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) President and Chair of the Board, former FDA Commissioner

Eric Horvitz, M.D., Ph.D.
Computer scientist, Microsoft Chief Scientific Officer

Ana Humphrey
Regeneron Science Talent Search Winner, Harvard University freshman

Mae Jemison, M.D.
Engineer, physician, former NASA astronaut, 100 Year Starship (100YSS) project Principal

Valerie Camille Jones, Ed.D.
Atlanta mathematics teacher, Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recipient

Robert Klitzman, M.D.
Psychiatrist, bioethicist, Columbia University Professor and Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program

Seema Kumar
Johnson & Johnson Vice President of Innovation, Global Health, and Science Policy Communication

Gary Lauder
Venture capitalist, Lauder Partners LLC Managing Director

David Michaels, Ph.D.
Epidemiologist, former OSHA Assistant Secretary, author of The Triumph of Doubt and Doubt Is Their Product

Liz Neeley
Marine biologist, Story Collider Executive Director

Joe Palca, Ph.D.
National Public Radio (NPR) science correspondent, National Association of Science Writers past president

Manu Prakash, Ph.D.
Bioengineer, Stanford University Associate Professor, MacArthur Fellow, Foldscope co-inventor

Cynthia Rosenzweig, Ph.D.
Climatologist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Senior Research Scientist and Climate Impacts Group head