Scott James

Scott James

Scott JamesSCOTT JAMES is an author and veteran journalist. He has received three Emmy awards for his work in television news, but is probably best known as a contributor to The New York Times, where he wrote a weekly column about San Francisco.

Scott is also the author of two bestselling novels, “SoMa” and “The Sower,” which he wrote under the pen name Kemble Scott.


Michael S. Gazzaniga

2016_mike_gazzanigaMICHAEL S. GAZZANIGA is the Director of the Sage Center for the study of Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1964/65, where he worked with Roger Sperry, and had primary responsibility for initiating human split-brain research. He has carried out extensive studies on both sub-human primate and human behavior and cognition.

He has established Centers for Cognitive Neuroscience at Cornell Medical School and Dartmouth College and the Center for Neuroscience at UC, Davis. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience and also a founder of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.  For 20 years he directed the Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the major reference text, The Cognitive Neurosciences. He was a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001-2009.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

His new book Tales from Both Sides of the Brain (2015) is a 50 year perspective on a life in science.

MORE INFO: http://www.giffordlectures.org/lectures/science-mind-constraining-matter

 


Andrew Fraknoi

2016_andrew_fraknoiFoothill College Astronomy Professor ANDREW FRAKNOI, known for his skill in interpreting astronomical discoveries and ideas in everyday language, teaches introductory astronomy and “physics for poets” classes that enroll between 800 and 900 Foothill students enroll each year. Fraknoi has also given more than 500 public lectures throughout the U.S. on such topics as What Were the Atoms in Your Body Doing 8 Billion Years Ago? and Black Holes and Space Warps.

Educated at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, Fraknoi has also taught astronomy and physics at San Francisco State University, City College of San Francisco, Cañada College, and several campuses of the University of California Extension Division.

Radio listeners know Fraknoi as a guest on local and national news and talk programs. In Northern California, he is a regular on the Gil Gross program on KKSF, and on KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny. Fraknoi appeared for more than 25 years on KGO’s Jim Eason Show and Pete Wilson Show, and was the astronomer-in-residence on the syndicated Mark & Brian Show out of Los Angeles. Nationally, he has been heard on NPR’s Science Friday and Weekend All Things Considered. His television appearances include The Today Show, MSNBC, CBS Morning News and Larry King Live.

A prolific author, Fraknoi edited several books for teachers and wrote Disney’s Wonderful World of Space, a book for kids.  His new book, Solar Science, written with Dennis Schatz, is full of 45 hands-on activities about the Sun, the seasons, the Moon, eclipses, and more.  It’s designed to help get educators and their students ready for the “All-American” eclipse of the Sun on August 21, 2017. The college textbook, Astronomy, for which he is the lead author, has just been published by OpenStax as a free book for college students around the world, part of a project at Rice University (supported by the Gates Foundation) to make college more affordable.

His interest in astronomically correct science fiction for teaching has led Fraknoi to begin writing science fiction. His first story was published in an anthology called Building Red: Mission Mars and a second story will be published in anthology by Springer later this year.

In addition to serving 14 years as the Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Fraknoi currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute, and on the Lick Observatory Council. He was selected as the 2007 California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Endowment for Higher Education.  Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by the International Astronomical Union to honor his work in sharing the excitement of modern astronomy with students, teachers and the public.  But he wants to assure everyone that it is a boring asteroid in the main belt, and no danger to Earth and its inhabitants.

MORE INFO: www.foothill.edu/ast/fraknoi.php


James H. Fallon

2016_jim_fallonJAMES H. FALLON, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (1975) in Neuroanatomy and Physiology and Masters in psychology and psychophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from St Michael’s College, a Sloan Fellowship, Senior Fulbright Fellowship (Africa) and NIH Research Career Award. He was Chair of the UCI Faculty and Academic Senate and Chair of the UCI College of Medicine Faculty. He sits on numerous corporate boards and national think tanks for science, biotechnology, the arts, and the US military.

He is a Subject Matter Expert in the field of “cognition and war” to the Pentagon’s Joint Command and Vice Chair of the American Land Forces Institute, and is a member of the Vatican’s Arts and Technology Council. He was the national scientific coordinator for the NIH Functional Brain Imaging Research Network for ten years.

His research program is focuses on brain imaging, genetics, neuroanatomy, connectomes, imaging genetics of psychopathologies, psychopathy, depression, schizophrenia, tobacco use, language disorders, personality, intelligence, male-female differences in cognition, consciousness and anesthesia, human cortical development, sleep, emotional memory, modeling of neural circuits, and law, culture, psychopathy, murder, dictatorships, and the brain. Fallon’s lab was the first to find how to mobilize massive numbers of adult stem cells to reverse the deficits in models of chronic stroke and Parkinson’s disease, which was recently heralded as one of the top seven breakthrough findings of the decade. He also discovered the neuroanatomical basis of psychopathy, and numerous discoveries on the associations between coding and non-coding genes, and behavior. His lab is also creating new neural interfaces for advanced prosthetic limbs and neural chips. Fallon and his colleagues are interested in the neural circuitry and genetics of creativity, artistic talent, extraordinary abilities, psychopathology, criminal behavior, levels of consciousness, and reconstruction of the paleolithic brain and genome.

He is a regular contributing commentator on the brain, genes, and behavior on CNN, NPR, PBS, BBC, and Discovery. His major nonfiction books for lay readers are “The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain,” and “Virga Tears: The True Story of a Soldier’s Sojourn Back to Vietnam”

MORE INFO: www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2303


Kara Cooney

Kara Cooney

2016_kara_cooneyKATHLYN (KARA) COONEY is a professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, Cooney received her PhD in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaoh at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Cooney produced and hosted a comparative archaeology television series entitled Out of Egypt, which aired in 2009 on the Discovery Channel and is available online via Amazon.

The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt is Cooney’s first trade book, and it benefits from her immense knowledge of Egypt’s ancient history to craft an illuminating biography of its least well-known female king. As an archaeologist who spent years at various excavations in Egypt, Cooney draws from the latest field research to fill in the gaps in the physical record of Hatshepsut. Published by Crown Publishing Group, the book released on October 14, 2014.

In the meantime, Cooney’s current research in coffin reuse, primarily focusing on the 20th Dynasty, is ongoing. Her research investigates the socioeconomic and political turmoil that have plagued the period, ultimately affecting funerary and burial practices in ancient Egypt. This project has taken her around the world over the span of five to six years to study and document more than 300 coffins in collections, including those in Cairo, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vatican City.

MORE INFO: http://karacooney.squarespace.com/


Peter Arnott

Peter Arnott

2016_peter_arnottPETER ARNOTT has been a writer for most of his life. And writing has led him into a variety of job titles. He was the founding Creative Director of an American ad agency in Tokyo, the co-owner of a film and video production company, a writer-producer-director of big-event sales meetings and conventions, a communications consultant, and a writer-performer of corporate musical biographies.

Those of you who attended our 2010 gathering may have heard him speak — and conduct a workshop — on how to get started on writing your hit play.


Michael Armacost

Michael Armacost

2016_michael_armacostAmbassador MICHAEL ARMACOST is the Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. In the interval between 1995 and 2002, Ambassador Armacost served as president of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. During a twenty-four year government career, Ambassador Armacost served as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan and the Philippines.

Armacost graduated from Carleton College and earned his master’s and doctorate in public law and government from Columbia University. He has received the President’s Distinguished Service Award, the Defense Department’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Services Award, and the Japanese government’s Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

MORE INFO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Armacost


Cara Hale Alter

Cara Hale AlterCARA HALE ALTER, founder and president of SpeechSkills, has provided training to some

of the world’s best-known companies, including Allstate, Caterpillar, Cisco, eBay, Gap, Google, Pixar, Pandora, Schwab, and Williams-Sonoma. A guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, Stanford University, and UC Hastings College of Law, Cara has also worked with numerous top-100 law firms, including DLA Piper, Morgan Lewis, O’Melveny

& Myers, and White & Case. She is a frequent media resource, with appearances in Forbes.com, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, and countless other media outlets. Her critically acclaimed book, The Credibility Code: How to Project Confidence and Competence When It Matters Most, brings the key concepts of her signature workshops to the printed page.

MORE INFO:  http://www.speechskills.com/index.html