Meet Our Curiosity Speakers

We bring together the best and brightest speakers to guide our participants through a week of exciting exploration and discovery in the areas of Science, Technology, Civilization and the Human Spirit. Watch the Curiosity Retreat lectures on CuriosityStream.

Doris Kearns Goodwin | Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Balancing Work, Love and Play: Lessons from the Presidents

Doris Kearns GoodwinDoris Kearns Goodwin, is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best selling books, including her most recent, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Goodwin is well known for her consultant work, commentary, and interviews for television and documentaries, including The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and specials on President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy family, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College, and was a Woodrow Wilson fellow. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency.
At the age of 24, Goodwin became a White House fellow, working directly with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin served as an assistant to President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisted him in the preparation of his memoirs. Among her many honors, Goodwin was awarded the Charles Frankel Prize by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Sarah Josepha Hale Medal, the New England Book Award, and most recently, the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation for her lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th president.
Books | Twitter | Website

David Eagleman | Neuroscientist; Director of the Laboratory for Perception and Action, Baylor College of Medicine

The Future of the Brain

David EaglemanDavid Eagleman is a daring young scientist providing a new understanding of our brains and ourselves. Often called the Carl Sagan of neuroscience, he tackles everything from how the brain rewires itself to why art and science must learn from each other. Eagleman is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. His areas of research include time perception, vision, synesthesia, and social neuroscience. He is also the the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of NeoSensory, a company which translates the un-hearable and un-seeable into the realm of the felt. Eagleman is the creator and host of The Brain, an international 6-hour television series on PBS, giving viewers a deeper understanding of themselves, the unseen world of decisions, and of modern neuroscience. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, and serves as editor and reviewer for several journals, and sits on the board of directors for several organizations, including the Long Now Foundation. He is also a New York Times best-selling author of several non-fiction and fiction books.
Books | Twitter | Videos | Website

Max Tegmark | Cosmologist and Astrophysicist, MIT

Our Mathematical Universe

Max TegmarkMax Tegmark Known as “Mad Max” for his unorthodox ideas and passion for adventure, his scientific interests range from precision cosmology to the ultimate nature of reality, all explored in his new popular book “Our Mathematical Universe”. He is an MIT physics professor with more than two hundred technical papers and has featured in dozens of science documentaries. His work with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year: 2003.”
Books | Twitter | Website

Sean Carroll | Cosmologist and Theoretical Physicist, California Institute of Technology

The Big Picture

Sean CarrollSean Carroll, is a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, where his research focuses on theoretical physics and astrophysics, especially cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. He is the best-selling author of several works, including From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time and The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. Carroll’s latest book is The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.
Carroll received his PhD in physics from Harvard University. He has written for Discover, Scientific American, New Scientist, Sky & Telescope, and other publications. His blog Cosmic Variance, hosted by Discover magazine, features a wide range of topical commentary and ideas. He has been an invited speaker at conferences and activities devoted to philosophy, theology, engineering, medicine, design, paleontology, education, politics, media, film, art, and literature.
Books | Twitter | Website

Alan Stern | Planetary Scientist; Lead Investigator of New Horizons, NASA

To Pluto & Beyond

Alan SternAlan Stern is the principle investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. In 2016, for the second time, he was named to the Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Dr. Stern’s academic research has focused on studies of our solar system’s Kuiper Belt and Oort cloud, comets, the satellites of the outer planets, the Pluto system, and the search for evidence of solar systems around other stars. He has also worked on spacecraft rendezvous theory, terrestrial polar mesospheric clouds, galactic astrophysics, and studies of tenuous satellite atmospheres, including the atmosphere of the moon.
In 2007 and 2008, Dr. Stern served as NASA’s chief of all space and Earth science programs. During his NASA tenure, a record 10 major new flight projects were started and deep reforms of NASA’s scientific research and the education and public outreach programs were put in place. His career has taken him to numerous astronomical observatories, to the South Pole, and to the upper atmosphere aboard various high performance NASA aircraft including F/A-18 Hornets, F-104 Starfighters, KC-135 Zero-G, and WB-57 Canberras. He has been involved as a researcher in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including 9 for which he was the mission principle investigator; and he has led the development of 8 scientific instruments for NASA space missions.
Twitter | Website

Nonny de la Peña | Journalist & Leading Pioneer in Virtual Reality

Our Virtual Reality

Nonny de la Peña has been called “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by Engadget and The Guardian, while Fast Company named her “One of the People Who Made the World More Creative” for her pioneering work in immersive journalism. As CEO of Emblematic Group, she uses cutting edge technologies to tell important stories, both fictional and news-based, that create intense, empathic engagement on the part of viewers. She realizes that the power of virtual reality requires a deep responsibility to present the most accurate scenes possible, relying heavily on primary sources like audio clips from live events. She believes the growing availability of VR headsets and the technology to reconstruct events using new computer and film-making techniques will transform the world of journalism.
De la Peña is pushing technological boundaries for narrative endeavors, including creating virtual reality environments for news, documentary and entertainment. While at USC, de la Peña is developing sophisticated linear stories in virtual reality that explore the experiential nature of spatial narrative and the feelings of presence that come with the connection to a digital representation of oneself. A graduate of Harvard University and a former correspondent for Newsweek, de la Peña has more than 20 years of award-winning experience in print, film and TV. Her virtual reality work has been showcased around the globe at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals, The World Economic Forum in Davos, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and Games For Change.
Publications | Twitter | Website

Spencer Wells | Geneticist, Anthropologist; Former Director of the Genographic Project, National Geographic

The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey

Spencer WellsSpencer Wells is a geneticist, anthropologist, author and entrepreneur. For over a decade he was an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and Director of the Genographic Project, which collected and analyzed DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet, and in the process, helped launch the consumer genomics industry. Wells graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Stanford and Oxford. He has appeared in numerous documentary films and is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry and Pandora’s Seed. His work has taken him to more than 100 countries, where he has collaborated with everyone from heads of government and Fortune 500 corporations, to tribal chieftains eking out a precarious living in places as remote as Chad, Tajikistan and Papua New Guinea. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is founder and CEO of consumer genomics startup Insitome, an adjunct Professor at the University of Texas and the owner of the iconic blues club Antone’s.
Books | Twitter | Website

Wayne Pacelle | President & CEO, Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Economy

As president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle leads one of the 100 largest charities in the U.S., according to Forbes. The Humane Society is the largest provider of direct care services to animals, and is also the nation’s highe67st-impact advocacy organization for animals. Pacelle has helped pass more than 1,000 state laws to advance the organization’s mission and negotiated agreements with dozens of the nation’s biggest corporations – from McDonald’s to Walmart. He is a two time New York Times bestselling author for The Humane Economy and The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.

Sylvia Earle | Oceanographer; Explorer-In-Residence, National Geographic Society

Topic: Wonders of the Ocean | June 2015 Retreat

Earle_BWSylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress and “Hero for the Planet” by Time, is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with a deep commitment to research through personal exploration. Earle’s work has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. In the 1980s she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies with engineer Graham Hawkes to design and build undersea vehicles that allow scientists to work at previously inaccessible depths. In the early 1990s, Dr. Earle served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. At present she is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.
Books | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Brian Greene | Theoretical Physicist & Best-Selling Author

Topic: Chasing Quantum Realities | June 2015 Retreat

Greene_BWBrian Greene is perhaps the best-known proponent of superstring theory, the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in a higher dimensional space-time create every particle and force in the universe. A professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, Greene has focused on unified theories for more than 25 years, and has written several best-selling and non-technical books on the subject including The Elegant Universe, a Pulitzer finalist, and The Fabric of the Cosmos-each of which has been adapted into a NOVA mini-series.
He is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in his field of superstring theory, including the co-discovery of mirror symmetry, which launched a vibrant field of research in physics and mathematics, and also the discovery of topology change, which showed that unlike Einstein’s General Relativity, in string theory the fabric of space can tear apart. Professor Greene is the co-founder and director of Columbia’s Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, a research center seeking string theory’s implications for theories of cosmology.
His first book, The Elegant Universe was finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction, won Britain’s top prize for a book on science, and has sold more than a million copies worldwide. His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos spent half a year on the New York Times bestseller list and inspired the Washington Post to call him “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.” His latest book, The Hidden Reality, debuted at number 4 on the New York Times bestseller list and is a considered exploration of the science of parallel universes. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University in 1984 and his doctorate from Oxford University in 1986, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
Books | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Nancy Andreasen | Neuroscientist & Psychiatrist

Topic: The Creative Brain | June 2015 Retreat

Andreasen_BWNancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D. is the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. A recipient of the President’s National Medal of Science, Dr. Andreasen pioneered the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify brain mechanisms of normal cognitive processes such as memory and creativity, as well as mental illnesses. She led the first extensive empirical study of creativity that demonstrated the association between creativity and mood disorders. She is currently conducting a second major study of creativity in prominent artists and scientists using neuroimaging techniques. Her contributions to science and to educating the lay public have been enhanced by combination of expertise in both literature and science; her PhD is in Renaissance English literature. She has used her literary skills to write books designed to educate the lay public and to reduce stigma. Among her 15 books is a “brain trilogy” that she wrote to educate nonscientists about neuroscience, mental illness and creativity: The Broken Brain, Brave New Brain, and The Creating Brain. She has also published more than 600 scientific articles. She was Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years, completing her third term in 2005.
Books | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Raj Sisodia | Professor of Global Business

Topic: Conscious Capitalism | June 2015 Retreat

Sisodia Lo-Res 2_B&WRaj Sisodia is the Franklin Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business and Whole Foods Market Research Scholar in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc.
He has a Ph. D. in Marketing from Columbia University. Raj is co-author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Harvard Business Review Publishing, 2013).
In 2003, he was cited as one of “50 Leading Marketing Thinkers” by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He was named one of “Ten Outstanding Trailblazers of 2010” by Good Business International, and one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” by Trust Across America for 2010 and 2011.Raj has published seven books and over 100 academic articles. His book Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose was named one of the best business books of 2007 by
He has consulted with and taught executive programs for numerous companies, including AT&T, Nokia, LG, DPDHL, POSCO, Kraft Foods, Whole Foods Market, Tata, Siemens, Sprint, Volvo, IBM, Walmart, Rabobank, McDonalds and Southern California Edison. He is on the Boards of Directors at The Container Store and Mastek, Ltd. and a trustee of Conscious Capitalism Inc.
Books | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

David McCullough | Two-Time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

Topic: The Art of Discovery | June 2015 Retreat

McCullough-150x150David McCullough has been widely acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
His most recent book, The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, the number one New York Times best seller, has been called “dazzling,” …“history to be savored.” His work 1776, has been acclaimed “a classic,” while John Adams, published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely read American biographies of all time. In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale, “As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character.” Mr. McCullough’s other books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, and Truman. As may be said of few writers, none of his books has ever been out of print.
David McCullough is as well twice winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, and for his work overall he has been honored by the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal and the Gold Medal for Biography given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fifty two honorary degrees. In 2013, in his honor, the city of Pittsburgh, his hometown, renamed its landmark 16th Street Bridge over the Allegheny River the David McCullough Bridge. More recently, in September 2014, he was named an Officer of the Legion of Honor by decree of the President of the Republic of France.
A gifted speaker, Mr. McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress. Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, he was educated there and at Yale. The Wright Brothers was released on May 5th to critical acclaim. For the sixth week in a row it has been #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Books | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Jason Silva | Futurist, Filmmaker & Techno-Philosopher

Topic: Digital Transcendence | June 2015 Retreat

Silva-WEBSITE_BW_webJason Silva is the Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s #1 rated and Emmy-nominated series, Brain Games, seen in over 100 countries. A self-professed wonderjunkie, Silva is the creator of the web series “Shots of Awe,” micro-documentaries exploring creativity, innovation, technology, futurism, metaphysics, existentialism and the human condition. In short: Philosophy, Science and Art for the YouTube generation. The videos, which “play like movie trailers for ideas,” according to The Atlantic, have spread like wildfire across the internet and have been viewed more than 13 million times. Influencers such as Ron Howard, Richard Branson, Leo Dicaprio, Tribeca Films Co-founder Jane Rosenthal, actor Mark Ruffalo, NASA, and many others have tweeted Jason’s videos. An active and prolific global speaker, Jason has spoken at TEDGlobal, Google’s Zeitgeist Conference, keynoted multiple events all over the world. He was also keynoted at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Sydney Opera house, The Economist Ideas Festival, The DLD Conference, The Singularity Summit, the PSFK Conference, Mexico’s Ciudad De Las Ideas, Seattle’s Interactive Conference, Chicago Ideas Week, SXSW Interactive and the CANNES LIONS festival of Creativity.
Twitter | Videos | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Danielle Allen | Political Theorist, Classicist

Topic: Our Declaration | June 2015 Retreat

Allen_BWDanielle Allen a professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, is a political philosopher widely known for her work on justice and citizenship in both ancient Athens and modern America. She is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens (2000), Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education (2004), Why Plato Wrote (2010), and Our Declaration (2014). In 2002, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine “the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” She is a frequent public lecturer and regular guest on public radio, and has contributed to the Washington Post, Boston Review, Democracy, Cabinet, and The Nation.
Books | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Paul Saffo | Technology Forecaster

Topic: Creator Economy | June 2015 Retreat

Saffo_BWPaul Saffo is a forecaster with over two decades experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He co-founded and served as Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics. Mr. Saffo is also a Consulting Associate Professor at Stanford University, and leads the Forecasting/Future Studies Track at Singularity University. He is a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. His essays have appeared in a wide range of publications including The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
Essays | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Rick Smolan | Founder, Against All Odds Productions

Topic: The Human Face of Big Data | June 2015 Retreat

RickSmolan_B+WRick Smolan, is a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer. Now, as CEO of Against All Odds Productions, Smolan produces large-scale global photography projects which combine story-telling with state of the art technology. Widely known as the creator of the best-selling “Day in the Life” series, every 18 months Smolan engages hundreds of international journalists to focus on emerging topics including Big Data, the global water crisis, and how the human race is learning to heal itself. Against All Odds Productions was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the “25 Coolest Companies in America,” and its projects have been featured on the covers of Fortune, Time, Newsweek, and US News & World Reports.
Books | Twitter | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Vint Cerf | Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

Topic: The Future of the Internet | July 2014 Retreat

Cerf_VintDr. Vint Cerf is Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for Google. Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He currently serves as President of the Association for Computing Machinery, chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), and chairman of StopBadWare. Dr. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the US National Medal of Technology, among many others.
ICANN | Interviews | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Deepak Chopra | Author, Physician; Founder of the Chopra Foundation & the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Topic: Mind Brain Genome Microbiome – presented with Dr. Rudy Tanzi | July 2014 Retreat

DeepakChopraDr. Deepak Chopra is the Founder of the Chopra Foundation, and Cofounder and Chairman of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California. He is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post On Faith and contributes regularly to,, and the Huffington Post. Chopra is known as a prolific author of more than seventy-five books with twenty-one New York Times best sellers in both fiction and non fiction. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra’s books have been published in more than thirty-five languages. His New York Times bestsellers Peace Is the Way and The Book of Secret: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life, received the Religion and Spirituality Quill Award in 2005 and the Grand Prize in the 2005 Nautilus Awards, respectively. His latest New York Times bestsellers include Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well Being, “War of the Worldviews”, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and Spiritual Solutions – Answers To Life’s Greatest Problems. His book The Soul of Leadership was mentioned as one of five best business books to read for your career by the Wall Street Journal’s
Twitter | Facebook | Website | The Chopra Center for Wellbeing | Curiosity Lecture

Ambassador Henry Crumpton | Chairman and CEO, Crumpton Group LLC

Topic: The Middle East and Global Security | May and July 2014 Retreats

628x471Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, the former U.S. Coordinator for Counterterrorism, is the Chairman and CEO of Crumpton Group, a global strategic advisory and business development firm. A consultant, entrepreneur, investor, and New York Times best selling author, he also serves as a director of Argan Inc and on the advisory boards of DC Capital Partners and The Coca Cola Company. A 24 year veteran of the CIA’s Clandestine Service, Ambassador Crumpton was profiled in 2010 and in 2012 on CBS’ 60 Minutes, exploring his leadership role in the CIA’s 2001-2002 Afghanistan campaign which “changed the way America wages war.” His work at the FBI, CIA, and State Department placed him at the forefront of America’s counterterrorism efforts, including the development of the armed Predator drone. Among many honors, he received the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA’s highest award for achievement. BOOKS: Transforming U.S. Intelligence (co-author) and The Art of Intelligence.
Book: The Art of Intelligence | Interviews 1 o 2 | Website | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf | Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study

Topic: Frontiers of Science | May 2014 Retreat

RDijkDr. Robbert Dijkgraaf is a mathematical physicist and string theorist currently serving as the Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. Prior to joining the Institute, Dr. Dijkgraaf served as president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; he also remains a distinguished professor of mathematical physics at the University of Amsterdam. In 2003, Dr. Dijkgraaf’s mathematical contributions to string theory earned him the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research’s Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands. An advocate for engaging young people in the hard sciences, Dr. Dijkgraaf has helped to develop curriculum and study materials and has actively involved secondary school students in his research.
Institute for Advanced Study | Website | Twitter | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. K. Eric Drexler | Chief Technical Advisor, Nanorex; Academic Visitor in Residence, Oxford University

Topic: The Future of Nanotechnology | May 2014 Retreat
Topic: The Future of Nanotechnology – presented with Mr. Jim Phillips | July 2014 Retreat

DrexDr. K. Eric Drexler, often described as “the founding father of nanotechnology,” introduced the concept of nanotechnology to the scientific community through a seminal 1981 paper and a book-length, physics-based analysis, Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation. His 1986 book, Engines of Creation, introduced prospects for advanced nanotechnologies to a global audience, setting in motion a shift in both scientific research directions and popular visions of the future. His most recent book, Radical Abundance (PublicAffairs, 2013) explores prospects for advanced, atomically precise nanotechnologies that will transform the physical basis of technological civilization, with implications in areas that range from medicine to global economic development and climate change. Dr. Drexler is currently with the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology at the Oxford Martin School, Oxford University.
Website | Books | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Nancy Etcoff | Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School; Director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well-Being, Massachusetts General Hospital

Topic: Science of Happiness | May 2014 Retreat

N EtcoffDr. Nancy Etcoff is a faculty member in the Harvard Medical School and Harvard University’s Mind-Brain-Behavior Initiative who conducts ground breaking and highly cited scientific investigations in the psychology and neuroscience of emotion, and the psychology and biology of beauty. In 2003, she founded the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being within the Department of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital to foster research, education and consultation at the intersection of these two fields. Her research has culminated in numerous awards, and her book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty (Doubleday, 1999; Anchor, 2000) has been published in over a dozen languages, and is the subject of a one-hour Discovery Channel program.
Scholarly Articles | Books | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Michio Kaku | Theoretical Physicist, CCNY

Topic: The Future of the Mind and Beyond | May and July 2014 Retreats

MkakuDr. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, NY Times best-selling author, and a prominent futurist who currently holds the Henry Semat Professorship in Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York. In 1974, Dr. Kaku co-authored the first papers describing string theory in field theory form. He has since authored numerous textbooks on string theory and quantum field theory. He is widely recognized for his efforts to popularize science, writing multiple books, appearing in films, and hosting numerous TV science specials and a national weekly science radio show heard in 130 cities. A science policy advocate, Dr. Kaku has publicly discussed issues related to the anthropogenic causes of global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the misuse of science. BOOKS: Physics of the Future, Parallel Worlds, Hyperspace.
Website | Twitter | Books | Curiosity Lecture

Jim Phillips | Chairman and CEO, NanoMech


Topic: The Future of Nanotechnology – presented with Dr. Eric Drexler | July 2014 Retreat

Jim Phillips, Chairman and CEO of NanoMech, is an entrepreneur and inventor whose innovations are used by millions worldwide. Internationally recognized as a telecommunications pioneer, Mr. Phillips has played key leadership and development roles at Nortel, Skytel, Motorola, and Mobilecomm. He is renowned for driving the invention and development of satellite paging, instant messaging, fixed cellular, M2M machine to machine wireless telemetry, smart phones (PDAs and PCS), immersive 360° imaging, the VeinViewer – a Time Magazine “Invention of the Year” – and the cable modem, which provided for the broadband expansion of the Internet worldwide. Mr. Phillips is the founding chairman of the FedEx Institute of Technology, which Wired Magazine described as “The MIT of the South.” In 2005, Information Week Magazine named him an “Innovator of the Year” for this successful, multi-disciplinary academic, science and technology project and his career in innovation. Mr. Phillips was also awarded the 2013 R&D 100 Award for the best new technology product in the U.S., an award commonly referred to as “The Oscar of Technology.”
Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Lisa Randall | Theoretical Physicist, Harvard

Topic: Discovery in Cosmology & Particle Physics | May and July 2014 Retreats

Randall(web)Dr. Lisa Randall is an American theoretical physicist and a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology. Her research connects theoretical insights to puzzles in our current understanding of the properties and interactions of matter. Dr. Randall’s studies have made her among the most cited and influential theoretical physicists of all time and she has received numerous awards and honors for her scientific endeavors. Randall has also pursued art-science connections, writing a libretto for Hypermusic: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes; in 2012, she was the recipient of the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics, which is given annually for significant contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic dimension of physics. Her books Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door were both chosen as NYTimes 100 Notable books. Her latest book is entitled Higgs Discovery.
Faculty page | Twitter | Books | Curiosity Lecture

Dr. Rudy Tanzi | Author, Neuroscientist; Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Topic: Super Brain | May 2014 Retreat
Topic: Mind Brain Genome Microbiome – presented with Dr. Deepak Chopra | July 2014 Retreat

rudolph.e.tanziDr. Rudolph Tanzi is a Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. At the Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Tanzi serves as the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, which consists of five laboratories investigating the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and novel therapies. Dr. Tanzi currently spearheads the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund – Alzheimer’s Genome Project. He is one of the ten most cited researchers in AD, having co-authored over 425 research articles. Dr. Tanzi is the Chairman of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium and serves on over 40 editorial and scientific advisory boards. BOOKS: Super Brain (co-author), Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease (co-author). ALBUMS: Aerosmith, Music From Another Dimension.
Faculty page | Twitter | MGH | Curiosity Lecture

Sheryl WuDunn | Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Business executive

Topic: Modern China | May and July 2014 Retreats

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 4.03.43 PMSheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize, is a business executive and best-selling author. Currently, she works with entrepreneurs in new media, media technology, and social enterprise at a small investment banking boutique in NYC. She also runs TripleEdge, which focuses on socially driven investing. WuDunn is co-author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, a No. 1 New York Times best-seller about the challenges facing women around the globe. WuDunn lectures to a wide range of American and global audiences and has been invited to speak to the Secretary General of the United Nations, former Vice President Al Gore, and other senior officials on economic, political, and social topics related to women in the developing world, the global economy, China, and the emerging markets. She was a Senior Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs in fall 2011, when she taught a module on China in the flagship course on global affairs. WuDunn, who was a guest as President Obama’s State Dinner at the White House for Chinese President Hu Jintao, has frequently discussed Chinese economic issues on television and radio programs such as Fox Business News, The Colbert Report, Charlie Rose, and NPR.
Books | Twitter | Half the Sky Movement | Curiosity Lecture