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Creativity Conference Curators

Mark W. Moffett

Tropical explorer Mark Moffett is investigating the life and death of societies across species and in humans right up to the present day. Trained under the Harvard ecologist E.O. Wilson, he is most widely known for finding new species and behavior and recording them in the National Geographic magazine.

Melissa Wells

Melissa Wells is an expert at managing healthcare systems in the US and abroad. When on expeditions with fellow explorer Moffett, she also captures the work and inspiration of scientific researchers through photography and film.

2014 Creativity Conference Speakers

Stuart Firestein, Ph.D

Stuart Firestein, Chairman of Biology at Columbia University, is an expert on the human sense of smell. But even more fascinating for us is his book, Ignorance, about the role of ignorance in understanding the world, which he wrote to help people appreciate how science really works.

Ben Huh

Ben Huh is an internet popular culture icon for creating websites that altogether receive nearly five billion hits a year -- including most of those cute pictures of cats.

Ken Kamler, M.D.

Ken Kamler is a hand surgeon and an expert on medicine under extreme conditions, working with everyone from NASA to the Dalai Lama on medical issues. Ken has written two bestsellers, and is the doctor featured in Jon Krakauer's book, Into Thin Air.

David Hume Kennerly

David Hume Kennerly won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for his photos of the Vietnam War when he was 25 years old, one of the youngest people to ever receive that honor. Two years later he was appointed President Gerald R. Ford’s personal White House photographer. He was recently named, "One of the Most 100 Most Important People in Photography" by American Photo Magazine. He was a contributing editor for Newsweek, and a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines. Kennerly has published several books of his work, Shooter, Photo Op, Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld, Photo du Jour, and most recently, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. He is a producer and one of the principle photographers of Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book. He recently produced "The Presidents' Gatekeepers," a four-hour documentary about White House chiefs of staff that ran on The Discovery Channel. Kennerly is on the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and the Atlanta Board of Visitors of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). His archive is housed at the Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin.

Mark Mitton

Mark Mitton is a master magician who has made Will Smith appear in the middle of Times Square, and taught sleight-of-hand to Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, John Travolta and John Lithgow. Mark frequently partners with scientists and philosophers to explore magic and the nature of human perception.

Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D

Mark W. Moffett, a.k.a. "Doctor Bugs," has discovered new species and behaviors from the tops of the world's tallest trees to sink holes a quarter-mile deep. He has writing and photography credits for more than 30 articles for National Geographic and is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club. An entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution, he created a solo exhibition, “Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.” He is a 2008 Yale Poynter Journalism Fellow with three books, The High Frontier: Exploring the Tropical Rain Forest Canopy, Face to Face with Frogs, and Adventures Among Ants, which The New York Times said was written “with an entertainer’s instinct for hooking a restless audience.” He is the recipient of the highest honor in exploration, the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club.

Susan Morrison

Susan Morrison, the Articles Editor of The New Yorker, has been with the magazine for 17 years. She oversees The Talk of the Town and Shouts & Murmurs sections, and she edits long nonfiction pieces and special issues. Previously, she was Editor in Chief of The New York Observer and a founding editor of SPY Magazine. She is the editor of the book "Thirty Ways of Looking at Hillary: Reflections by Women Writers.

Diana Reiss, Ph.D

Diana Reiss, professor at Hunter College and author of Dolphin in the Mirror, studies self awareness and intelligence in dolphins and elephants. Diana is a scientific consultant on conservation issues including the movie, The Cove.

Gary Strobel, Ph.D

Gary Strobel of Montana State is the leading ethnopharmacologist - finding medicines in jungles around the world - often by working with tribal groups. He has made dozens of discoveries from remote places, from cancer treatments such as Taxol, to potential cures for malaria.

Melissa Wells

Melissa Wells is an expert at managing healthcare systems in the US and abroad. When on expeditions with fellow explorer Moffett, she also captures the work and inspiration of scientific researchers through photography and film.

Robert Wilson

Robert W. Wilson is a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge Massachusetts. He is technical leader of the Sub-Millimeter Array, an 8 element synthesis radio telescope built by SAO in conjunction with ASIAA near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. From 1977 until 1994 Dr. Wilson was Head of the Wireless Technology Research Department (formerly Radio Physics Research Dept.) of Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, N.J. The Wireless Technology Research Department did applied research on wireless access: components and subsystems, new applications of simple inexpensive systems, and design and architectures which support higher levels of integration. In its former incarnation, the Radio Physics Research Department did research on microwave and millimeter-wave semiconductor devices and components as well as radio astronomy at those wavelengths. Dr. Wilson received a B.A. "With Honors in Physics" from Rice University in 1957 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1962. After a year at the Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory as a postdoctoral fellow, he joined Bell Laboratories as a member of technical staff. His early work was in the fields of Galactic radio astronomy and precision measurement of radio source strengths. He is best known for his part in the discovery in 1964 of the 3~K cosmic black body background radiation, thought to have originated in the early stages of the expansion of the universe. In 1970 he and his co-workers extended radio spectroscopy of the interstellar medium to short millimeter wavelengths where they discovered a number of interstellar molecules including Carbon Monoxide. His work in the resulting field of molecular cloud astronomy has been concentrated on the structure of nearby molecular clouds with interpretations based on observations of several molecular species in each region. He has also applied astronomical techniques to the measurement of earth-space propagation for satellite communication at centimeter and infrared wavelengths and made infrared propagation measurements along a terrestrial path. His most recent work at Bell Labs was in wireless communications and optical networking and resulted in a number of patents. He is a co-recipient of the Henry Draper Medal from the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Herschel Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society, London and the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Astronomical Union, the International Union of Radio Science, the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, The American Philosophical Society, and was a member of the 1990 Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee (Bahcall Committee).

Richard Wrangham, Ph.D

MacArthur-winning Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham has written the ground-breaking books Demonic Males, concerning aggression in humans and other apes, and Catching Fire, which Publishers Weekly called "a tour de force of natural history and a profound analysis of cooking's role in daily life."

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