Science & Us Conference

Our first event was held at the Boston University Metcalf Science Center on June 9, 2018. More details recapping the event coming soon!


Dr. Paul Arthur Berkman

Professor Paul Arthur Berkman is building connections between science, diplomacy and information technology to promote cooperation and prevent discord, balancing national interests and common interests for the benefit of all on Earth. He was a visiting professor at the University of California at the age of 23, after wintering the previous year in Antarctica on a SCUBA research expedition, evolving two decades later into a textbook on Science Into Policy. He was a Fulbright Distinguished and Head of the Arctic Ocean Geopolitics Programme at the University of Cambridge, chairing the Antarctic Treaty Summit at the Smithsonian Institution in 2009 with legacy through the first book on Science Diplomacy and then the first formal NATO-Russia dialogue the following year regarding Environmental Security in the Arctic Ocean with legacy contributions through a successful Springer publication of the same name. He currently coordinates the Arctic Options and Pan-Arctic Options projects (involving support from national science agencies in the United States, Russian Federation, Norway, France, China and Canada from 2013-2020) as well as a Carnegie Corporation project on US- Russia Relations. In September 2015, he joined the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University as Professor of Practice in Science Diplomacy and is now Director of the Science Diplomacy Center as a university-wide initiative. For his interdisciplinary research and publications, including the November 2017 policy forum published in Science on Arctic Science Agreement Propels Science Diplomacy, as well as other contributions, Prof. Berkman has received many awards nationally and internationally, most recently the Vernadsky Medal from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in 2017. Paul is happily married with two daughters.

Gabriela Serrato Marks

Gabriela Serrato Marks is a PhD student in Marine Geology and Geophysics in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. Her primary research focuses on ancient climate records from cave rocks. Outside of the lab, she is interested in science communication in all formats, from writing to videos and social media. She earned her BA in Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College and grew up outside of Boston, MA. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @gserratomarks.

Daina Bouquin

Daina is the Head Librarian at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA. At the CfA, Daina primarily focuses on lowering social and technical barriers that impact the astronomy community’s ability to create and share their work. Some of her specific topics of interest include open science, research software preservation, machine learning, and the history of astronomy. Prior to her appointment at the CfA, Daina worked for Cornell University Library as a Librarian and Research Data Management Consultant. Daina holds a MS in Data Analytics in addition to a MS in Library and Information Science.

Jeffery DelViscio

Jeff DelViscio is STAT’s director of multimedia and creative. He worked aboard oceanographic research vessels in the Pacific Ocean before dropping anchor at the New York Times, where he developed Web content for five different sections over eight years. Jeff holds dual master’s degrees in journalism and climate science, both from Columbia University, and has written for Quartz, Popular Mechanics, and When Jeff was 3, science saved his life following a run-in with a lawnmower; he’s been trying to give back to science ever since.

Athanasios Athanassiadis

Athanasios Athanassiadis (Thanasi) is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where he is developing a new technique to identify materials and map their properties underwater. In addition to his research, he is actively involved in science communication & service. He is a founding contributor to the Useful Science podcast, has led the roll-out of a Communications Lab (peer-mentoring & training resource) in the Mechanical Engineering Department, and recently spent a month in Washington, DC conducting science policy analysis with the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute. Beyond science, Thanasi is an avid clarinetist, performing Greek and Turkish traditional and popular music around the Northeast. Thanasi received his BA in Physics from the University of Chicago and his SM in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. You can follow his work at, and listen for him on the Useful Science Podcast.

Wei Sun Leong

Wei Sun is a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she works with Professor Jing Kong. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2015 and completed her undergraduate studies in Electrical Engineering (Electronics) at University of Technology Malaysia in 2011. Her research interest lies at the interface of neuromorphic computing, nanofabrication, device physics, and materials science to understand and engineer devices and systems with unique functionalities at the nanoscale. Wei Sun is member of the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society. She received the 2011 UTM Gold Medal, Dean’s Award and Silterra Academic Award, the 2014 NUS ECE Best Graduate Student Award, the 2015-2017 MIT-SUTD Postdoctoral Fellowship, the 2017 APS DMP Post-Doctoral Travel Award, the 2017-2019 NSF LATTICE Participant Award, and the 2018 StartMIT Presentation Award. At MIT, Wei Sun is now the Women’s Initiative Co-Director, EECS Communication Advisor, Postdoctoral Association Initiative Grant Committee, and the 2018 Microsystems Annual Research Conference Social Chair.

Alyson Warr

Alyson Warr is currently a third-year PhD student in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School. Aly’s research focuses on how bacterial pathogens interact with the human body to cause disease. She is interested in the global impact of infectious disease burden, and how implementing interventions like vaccination can limit the spread of disease. Aly is currently co-director of Science in the News, a Harvard graduate student group that seeks to bridge the communication gap between scientists and the general public by making science accessible and engaging, and by training graduate students to communicate effectively. She is a proud alum of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she studied microbiology. You can find her on Twitter @alysonwarr.

Kelsey Tyssowski

Kelsey Tyssowski is a scientist and generally curious human. She is currently a graduate student in the Genetics Department at Harvard Medical School where she studies how the brain stores memories and prevents seizures—or, more specifically, how the neuronal genome responds to changes in brain activity. Kelsey is also currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Science in the News Blog, and has been involved with Science in the News as an editor, writer, and educator since 2013. In her free time, she can be found in her community garden plot on Mission Hill and tending to the emotional needs of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @kelseytyss.

Dana Boebinger

Dana Boebinger is a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, studying how the human brain understands complex sounds like speech and music. Since her first semester at Harvard, she has been deeply involved with the graduate student organization Science in the News (SITN), which works to bridge the communication gap between scientists and non-scientists through free public lectures, online blogs, science cafes, podcasts, outreach programming, and more. Dana is currently serving as SITN Co-Director, and has further honed her science communication skills through interactive workshops like ComSciCon, and through writing both informative and opinion pieces that have been published in outlets ranging from SITN’s blog to the online Smithsonian magazine. She is on twitter @dlboebinger.

Mariah Tinger

Mariah Tinger’s fascination with nature began with catching polliwogs as a kid; exploring Yosemite National Park’s granite domes and chasing bears out of its campgrounds fortified her love of outdoor adventure. Her career is now firmly established in teaching the critical principles of maintaining a sustainable planet as our home. Mariah’s main educational mediums are sustainability courses at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, as a co-host of The Climate Minute – a podcast through Massachusetts Climate Action Network, and through her book Protecting the Planet: Environmental Champions from Conservation to Climate Change. She also offers sustainability consulting services to businesses near her home on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Mariah coordinated environmental programs for many years at Genzyme Corporation (now Sanofi Genzyme). She has led individuals and teams in environmental stewardship and education in both corporate and non-profit settings. Mariah holds a master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from Harvard University Extension School and a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in environment and human values from Trinity College.