Keynote and Symposium Speakers

Jeffrey Bennett
Kim Hunter
Richard Gelderman
 Robin Q Zhang
Gerry Harris
David White
Saturday November 4

Keynote Presentation:

Communicating Science to the Public
Dr. Jeffrey Bennett

Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. in Biophysics from the University of California at San Diego and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He specializes in mathematics and science education, writing for and speaking to audiences ranging from elementary school children to college faculty. His extensive teaching experience, which spans all levels from preschool through graduate school, includes having founded and run a private science summer school for elementary and middle school children and teaching more than fifty college classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and writing, including the American Institute of Physics Science Communication Award.
Among his other major endeavors, Dr. Bennett served two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, where he was the first scientist hired within a science division specifically to leverage science missions for education. Working closely with NASA’s Education Division and teams working with the Hubble Space Telescope and other science missions, he was credited with helping bridge the cultural divide between education and science. In addition, he created the Initiative to Develop Education through Astronomy (originally IDEA, later called IDEAS), developed the Perspectives From Space concept (and creating its poster set) that was ultimately adopted as the global theme for International Space Year, and helped start the program known as Flight Opportunities for Science Teacher EnRichment (FOSTER), which flew teachers on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and evolved to become the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program that now flies teachers on the SOFIA airborne observatory.
Perhaps his most visible achievements have been his work in developing educational scale models of the solar system. He proposed the idea for and helped develop both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System (on the University of Colorado campus) and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Voyage model is now being replicated (through the Voyage National Program) in many other cities around the United States.

Out in the Field: Experiences Communicating Science to the Public
•    Dr. Jeffrey Bennett
•    Kim Hunter  Chief Program Officer at the Kentucky Science Center 
•    Richard Gelderman, Professor of Physics at WKU, recipient of 2016 KAS Science Education & Outreach Award
•    Robin Q. Zhang, Ph.D. , Professor and Chair, Department of Geosciences, Murray State University
•    David White, Commonwealth Endowed Chair,  Professor, Biological Sciences &Director, Hancock Biological Station
•    Gerry Harris, Hancock Biological Station, Murray State University