2015 Creativity Conference Speakers
Paul Bloom is a professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University and author of Just Babies and How Pleasure Works. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art.
Rodney Brooks, is professor emeritus of robotics at MIT, is the founder, chairman, and CTO of Rethink Robotics, a company that is deploying low cost, safe, and easy-to-train interactive humanoid robots in manufacturing; he also founded iRobot, where the Roomba was invented.
Cartoonist Roz Chast is a brilliant interpreter of the everyday. Her cartoons depict neuroses, hilarity, angst, and domesticity and are loaded with words, objects and patterns. More than 1000 of them have been printed in The New Yorker since 1978.
Rita Dove, U.S. Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995, is the author of nine collections of poetry, including Thomas and Beulah, winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Sonata Mulattica, a poetic treatise on the life of 19th-century violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower.
Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, and is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory, including the co-discoveries of mirror symmetry and topology change. Green is the author of The Hidden Reality.
Jim Meskimen is a voice actor and impersonator extraordinaire who has voiced numerous characters, and created some of them as a cartoonist. Jim has also appeared in movies such as the Ron Howard films Apollo 13, The Grinch, and Frost/Nixon.
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.
Scott Parazynski is a physician who has served as an astronaut on five Space Shuttle flights, and is currently University Explorer and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University.
Irene Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me and research associate at Harvard University, studies language and cognition in African grey parrots, first and most famously Alex. She has found the birds can learn to count and can remember 100 words for categories such as size and color.
Called “the reigning prince of pop-up books” by the Wall Street Journal, and described as an “eye-popping...storyteller meets architect” by the New York Times, Robert Sabuda turns ordinary paper into 3-D masterpieces that he threads together into stories that dance, twist, and twirl.
Meenakshi (“Mini”) Wadhwa studies the origin and evolution of the solar system and planets as the director of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.
Karen Wynn, the director of the Infant Cognition Center at Yale University, studies the development of morality by preverbal infants, how they grasp older humans and other objects, and their understanding of counting. Her work was the subject of a 2012 story on the CBS series 60 minutes.