Don Lincoln

Don Lincoln

Don Lincoln is a Senior Scientist at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). He is also a Guest Professor of High Energy Physics at the University of Notre Dame. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics from Rice University.

Dr. Lincoln's research has been divided between Fermilab's Tevatron Collider, until its close in 2011, and the CERN Large Hadron Collider, located outside Geneva, Switzerland. The author of more than 1,000 scientific publications, his most noteworthy accomplishments include serving on the teams that discovered the top quark in 1995 and confirmed the Higgs boson in 2012. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His writing at a popular level includes many articles as well as four books: Understanding the Universe, The Quantum Frontier, The Large Hadron Collider, and Alien Universe. His enthusiasm for science education earned him the 2013 Outreach Prize from the High Energy Physics Division of the European Physical Society.

Dr. Lincoln has given hundreds of lectures on four continents to a broad range of audiences. He is a blogger for the website of the PBS television series NOVA, and he also writes a weekly column for the online periodical Fermilab Today.

Jeff Kirschner

Jeff Kirschner

When his 4-year old daughter saw a plastic tub of cat litter in the woods, little did Jeff Kirschner realize that it would spark Litterati - a movement that’s “crowdsource-cleaning” the planet, one piece of litter at a time.

Featured by National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and Forbes, Litterati is backed by the National Science Foundation, in partnership with the WWF, United Nations, and has been highlighted at TED.


He presented to our local students during the Student Ideas Festival.

David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, at Stanford University, is a native of Seattle and a 1963 Stanford graduate. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University in 1968. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1967.

Professor Kennedy has long taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of the twentieth-century United States, American political and social thought, American foreign policy, American literature, the comparative development of democracy in Europe and America, and the history of the North American West. Graduating seniors have four times elected him as Class Day speaker. In 1988 he received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 2005 the Hoagland Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.  He has also received the Stanford Alumni Association's Richard W. Lyman Award for faculty service, and the Organization of American Historian’s Distinguished Service Award. In 2008 the Yale University Graduate School presented him with its highest honor, the Wilbur Cross Medal.

Reflecting his interdisciplinary training in American Studies, which combined the fields of history, literature, and economics, Professor Kennedy's scholarship is notable for its integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history, and for its engagement with the question of America’s national character. His 1970 book, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, embraced the medical, legal, political, and religious dimensions of the subject and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women's history.  Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) used the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system, economy, and culture in the early twentieth century. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999) recounts the history of the American people in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II. With Lizabeth Cohen, Kennedy is also the co-author of a textbook in American history, The American Pageant, now in its seventeenth edition.

Birth Control in America was honored with the John Gilmary Shea Prize in 1970 and the Bancroft Prize in 1971. Over Here was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1981. Freedom From Fear was a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club and the History Book Club, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the Pulitzer and Francis Parkman Prizes, as well as the English-Speaking Union’s Ambassador’s Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California’s California Book Award Gold Medal, all in 2000.

In 1976-77, Professor Kennedy served as Visiting Professor at the Facoltá di Scienze Politiche (Istituto Cesare Alfieri), Universitá di Firenze, Italia, where he taught a year-long course (in Italian) on the history of American political thought.  He has lectured on American history throughout Italy, as well as in Germany, Turkey, Scandinavia, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, Russia, and China. At Stanford he has served as chair of the History Department, and as director of the Program in International Relations, as well as Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences, and founding Faculty Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He has served on the Advisory Board for the Public Broadcasting System's "The American Experience" and for the History Channel’s “History of US,” as well as other historical documentaries. His film, “American Creed,” made jointly with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was released on PBS in 2018. He has chaired the Test Development Committee for the Educational Testing Service's Advanced Placement Program in American History. He has also served as a director of the CORO Foundation, and as chair of the Board of Directors of the Stanford University Bookstore, and for four decades on the board of Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), a service organization for people with disabilities. In 1995-96, he was the Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the American Philosophical Society. In 2002 he joined the Board of the Pulitzer Prizes (chair, 2010-2011), in 2008 the Board of the New York Historical Society, and in 2013 the Board of the California Academy of Sciences.  Since 2000, he has served as the Editor of the Oxford History of the United States. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack appointed him in 2014 to the Advisory Council for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail.

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; his focus is classics and military history.

Hanson was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992–93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991–92), the annual Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Visiting Fellow in History at Hillsdale College (2004–), the Visiting Shifron Professor of Military History at the US Naval Academy (2002–3),and the William Simon Visiting Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University (2010).

In 1991 he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award. He received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism (2002), presented the Manhattan's Institute's Wriston Lecture (2004), and was awarded the National Humanities Medal (2007) and the Bradley Prize (2008).

Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, and newspaper editorials on Greek, agrarian, and military history and essays on contemporary culture. He has written or edited twenty-four books, the latest of which is The Case for Trump (Basic Books, 2019). 

His other books include The Second World Wars (Basic Books, 2017); The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost - from Ancient Greece to Iraq (Bloomsbury 2013); The End of Sparta (Bloomsbury, 2011); The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern (Bloomsbury, 2010); Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome (ed.) (Princeton, 2010); The Other Greeks(California, 1998); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001); Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003); A War Like No Other (Random House, 2005); The Western Way of War(Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback ed., 2001); and Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003), as well as two books on family farming, Fields without Dreams (Free Press, 1995) and The Land Was Everything (Free Press, 1998). Currently, he is a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a weekly columnist for the National Review Online.

Hanson received a BA in classics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1975), was a fellow at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (1977–78), and received his PhD in classics from Stanford University (1980).

Doris K. Goodwin

Doris K. Goodwin is often called upon by the news media and late night TV hosts as well as companies, educational institutions and nonprofits to discuss leadership and provide historical context for current day, including discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic. While sheltered in place, her ReadyCam Home Studio allows for news interviews and virtual fireside chats and lectures.

Ms. Goodwin’s seventh book, “Leadership In Turbulent Times,” was an instant bestseller and published to critical acclaim in Fall 2018.

Focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the book provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field, and for all of us in our everyday lives.

In 2020, Ms. Goodwin executive produced through her new independent production company, Pastimes Productions Inc., the miniseries WASHINGTON, which was broadcast to record audiences on HISTORY over Presidents’ Day weekend 2020. She is currently working on additional miniseries on Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt also for HISTORY.

Ms. Goodwin previously authored six critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling books, including the Carnegie Medal winner “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism,” which is in part the basis for a new film being developed about Ida Tarbell, the famous muckraking journalist of the era.

Ms. Goodwin’s award-winning “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” was the inspiration for Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln,” which grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award® nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of the 16th president. “Team of Rivals” is often cited as an inspiration for business and political leaders, including President Barack Obama, and was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Prize, the inaugural Book Prize for American History, and Goodwin in 2016 was the first historian to receive the Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Ms. Goodwin earned the Pulitzer Prize in History for “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.” Her “The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys,” was adapted into an award-winning television miniseries.

Ms. Goodwin’s career as a presidential historian and author was inspired when as a 24-year-old graduate student at Harvard she was selected to join the White House Fellows, one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. At the White House celebration of the newly chosen Fellows, she found herself sharing the dance floor with President Johnson. He told her he wanted her to be assigned directly to him in the White House. But it was not to be that simple. For like many young people, she had been active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and had co-authored an article that called for the removal of LBJ, published in the New Republic several days after the White House dance. Despite this, LBJ said: “Bring her down here for a year and if I can’t win her over no one can.” She worked with Johnson in the White House and later assisted him in the writing of his memoirs.

Ms. Goodwin then wrote “Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream,” which became a national bestseller and achieved critical acclaim. It was re-released in Spring 2019, highlighting LBJ’s accomplishments in domestic affairs.

Ms. Goodwin has served as a consultant and has been interviewed extensively for PBS and HISTORY’s documentaries on Presidents Johnson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, the Kennedy family, and on Ken Burns’ “The History of Baseball” and “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” She served as a consultant on HBO Films’ “All the Way” starring Bryan Cranston as President Johnson. She played herself as a teacher to Lisa Simpson on” The Simpsons” and a historian on “American Horror Story.”

Ms. Goodwin graduated magna cum laude from Colby College. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American Presidency.

Ms. Goodwin was the first woman to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room, and is a devoted fan of the World Series-winning team.

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is a primatologist most known for her long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. The Gombe chimp observation, which Jane began in 1960, is the world’s longest running continuous wildlife research project.  Through her Jane Goodall Institute, she has become equally well known as a conservationist and a champion of human rights.

Jane showed her love of animals even as a young child; she still treasures the stuffed monkey given to her as a toddler. After graduating school, in 1957 a family friend invited Jane to visit her in Africa.

While she was in Africa, Jane’s friends encouraged her to contact the famous paleontologist, Louis Leakey. Jane was eager to discuss animals with Leakey, who was then curator of the Coryndon Museum in Nairobi. Leakey, who believed that studying other primates would help scientists to understand early hominid societies, saw in Jane someone with the right personality to begin a long term study. He hired her first as a secretary for his dig at Olduvai Gorge. Leakey then asked her to return to England to study primate anatomy and behavior while he raised funds for the proposed field study. On July 14, 1960, Jane Goodall began setting up her camp at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Leakey later arranged for Jane to earn her Ph.D. in ethology from Cambridge University. She was one of only eight people ever to have a doctoral dissertation accepted by Cambridge without first having an undergraduate degree.

It took two years from her arrival at Gombe for Jane to be completely accepted by the chimpanzee group she set out to study. Jane’s method was to simply observe and imitate the animals, writing down copious notes in a field journal. One of her first discoveries was that chimpanzees are omnivorous, not vegetarian as had been supposed. On several occasions, she observed the chimps hunting and eating small mammals. Two weeks after she first noted them eating meat, Jane saw something else that startled many people — the chimps employed modified twigs to “fish” for termites.

At the time, the use of tools was thought to be the defining characteristic of human beings. Jane’s mentor, Louis Leakey responded to her momentous discovery by saying, “Now we must redefine ‘tool,’ redefine ‘man.’ Or accept chimpanzees as humans.” It was not the last time that Jane’s chimpanzees evidenced startlingly human behaviors. Jane’s work has documented a complex social system, including one “war” between rival groups. She has seen ritualized behavior including use of the social embrace to comfort an animal in mourning. Altruism has been shown by the adoption of orphaned chimps by others in the band. She also argues that the chimpanzees show the beginnings of a primitive language system that includes more than 120 sounds with specific meanings.

In 1971, Jane’s first book, "In the Shadow of Man," became very popular. A small minority of scientists criticized the book for Jane’s habit of naming the animals she observed, but most people considered it a successful balance between scientific documentation and exciting story telling. It introduced the public to the serious scientific work being done.

In the 1970s and ‘80s Jane began to spend less time at the Gombe Research Center.  She was increasingly alarmed by the changes she was seeing in her beloved Africa. Mining and logging had begun to denude the habitat needed by her chimpanzees; desperately poor people were using slash and burn agriculture to survive. Through her writing and television appearances, Jane became an advocate for conservation, education and human rights. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global non-profit organization. The institute is active in promoting health and conservation in the local communities surrounding the chimpanzee habitats. They are active in bringing ecotourism into the area to provide stable jobs; they build medical clinics and dig wells. They teach farmers to use sustainable methods of agriculture by providing nurseries of swift growing trees to be used as fuel and food. The Roots and Shoots division of the institute is a global on-line community of young people and educators.

In April 2002 Jane Goodall was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace by Secretary General Kofi Annan. In 2004 she was invested as a dame of the British Empire by Prince Charles.

Today, she continues to travel and lecture throughout the world. As Jane says, “to achieve global peace we must not only stop fighting each other, but also stop destroying the natural world.”

On April 3, 2014, Jane will celebrate her 80th birthday. She is still doing her part.

Further reading:  Jane Goodall Institute

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is an award-winning English-Canadian, author, journalist and speaker. He is an active contributor and staff writer for ‘The New Yorker’ and has penned several best-sellers including, ‘The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference’, ‘Outliers: The Story of Success’, ‘What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures’ to name a few.

His themes are usually centered on fronting unanticipated insinuations of investigation in social sciences. He also frequently cites academic work that revolves around the subject areas of psychology, social psychology and sociology. Apart from his works, he won a national magazine award and was honored with a number of illustrious accolades, including being honored with the ‘Member of the Order of Canada’.

His work is toppling the popular understanding of bias, crime, food, marketing, race, consumers and intelligence. His works are also known for revealing the reality concealed behind the strange data.

Gladwell has written a total of five books, out of which four have become instant best-sellers. Apart from writing, he is known to be an amazing speaker.

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry is a leading architect based in Los Angeles. As a child, he often tried to build imaginary cities and homes from items kept in his grandmother’s hardware store. The same can be seen in his creations that are characterized by usage of unconventional fabrications and bold, modern shapes.

He graduated from the University of Southern Californian School of Architecture and then studied at Harvard. In fact, he moved to Harvard School of Design after marriage to Anita Snyder, in 1956. Frank left Harvard and relocated to California, where he began the “Easy Edges” cardboard furniture line.

However, he was more interested in buildings rather than furniture and eventually went on to create much bigger designs. Some of the famous ones are EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, and Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Apart from buildings, he was also involved in the design of other items such as furniture, jewelry and clothes.

As a famous personality, he has played himself on famous television programs such as the Simpsons.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is also a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the museum. Professor Tyson earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia University.

Dr. Tyson has written prolifically for the public, including a series of essays in Natural History magazine on which his previous Great Course, My Favorite Universe, is based.

His books include Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier; a memoir, The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos (coauthored with Charles Liu and Robert Irion), winner of the 2001 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award to a Scientist.

Dr. Tyson is host of The Cosmos, a science documentary series televised on the Fox network, and former host of the PBS television series NOVA scienceNOW. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson."

He also presented to our local students during the Student Ideas Festival.

Anne Curzan

Anne Curzan

Dr. Anne Curzan is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She earned a B.A. in Linguistics from Yale University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Professor Curzan has won several awards for teaching, including the University of Michigan's Henry Russel Award, the Faculty Recognition Award, and the John Dewey Award. Her research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography.

In addition to writing numerous articles, reviews, and edited volumes, Professor Curzan is the author of Gender Shifts in the History of English and the coauthor of How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction and First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student's Guide to Teaching. Beyond her teaching and research interests, she is a member of the American Dialect Society and sits on the usage panel for the American Heritage Dictionary.

She can also be found talking about language in her column, Talking About Words, in Michigan Today and on the segment, That's What They Say, on Michigan Radio.