Invited speakers

We are excited to announce the following confirmed speakers for the EvoKE 2021!

Oded Rechavi

  • Position: Associate Professor Department of Neurobiology
  • Topic: Interdisciplinarity / Media / Evolution (Interdisciplinarity, tradeoffs between specialization and explore new fields through collaboration with experts in other fields).
  • Talk: “Small RNA mediated transgenerational effects in nematodes, and how it challenges our most basic assumptions regarding the limits of inheritance and evolution”. Oded, will share with us some of his experiences, and strategies to communicate and give visibility to his research to the different publics, what kind of challenges he faced, and how he dealt with it.

Bibliography: Oded Rechavi is a Full Professor in the Life Sciences Faculty at Tel Aviv University. His mission is “to challenge fundamental long-held scientific dogmas”. Using C. elegans nematodes he provided direct evidence that an acquired trait can be inherited, worked to elucidate the mechanism and rules of small RNA-mediated transgenerational inheritance, discovered that the nematodes’ brains can control the behavior of their progeny, and identified a simple neuronal circuit-level mechanism that explains economic irrationality. Aside from his work on nematodes, Oded utilized genome sequencing of ancient DNA to “piece together” fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and demonstrated that Toxoplasma parasites can be genetically engineered to deliver drugs to the nervous system. He is an ERC Fellow, and was awarded many prestigious prizes, including the Polymath prize (Schmidt Futures), the Kadar award, the Blavatnik award, the Krill Wolf award, the Alon, and F.I.R.S.T (Bikura) Prizes, and the Gross Lipper Fellowship. Prof. Rechavi was selected as one of the “10 Most Creative People in Israel Under 40”, and one of the “40 Most Promising People in Israel Under 40”.

Ute Harms

  • Position: Department of Biology Education at IPN, Kiel (Germany)
  • Topic: Evolution and formal science education (Society, technology, and evolution. Contributions of basic science, evolutionary biology to face old and new practical societal challenges)
  • Talk: TBC

Bibliography:  is Director at the IPN –Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education and Full Professor for Biology Education at the University of Kiel (Germany) since 2007. She owns a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and has worked as a high school teacher for several years. From 2000 to 2007 she held Chairs for Biology Education at the  University Of  Munich  and  Bremen. As  a  VisitingProfessor(2011  to  2013)  she collaborated  with  her  colleague  Prof.  Lena  Tibell  at Linköping  University  (Sweden)in  the EvoVis project dealing with questions about how to enhance the understanding of evolution focusing on  threshold  concepts and  visualizations.Competitive  grants  she  received until today add up to more than 9 million Euros. Her publication list comprises today more than 160  contributions  to  national  and  international  journals  and  books several  of  them addressing research about evolution teaching and learning.

A. Cecile J.W. Janssens

  • Position: Research professor of translational epidemiology of the Emory University, Atlanta, USA. 
  • Topic: “The challenge of dealing between ideologies, interests, beliefs and evolutionary theory”
  • Talk: TBC

Bibliography: Her research concerns the translation of genomics to applications in clinical and public health practice, with a focus on the genetic prediction of multifactorial diseases, focuses on theoretical and methodological questions in prediction and the assessment of the clinical validity and utility of predictive testing. She has written many invited commentaries about the appropriate use and interpretation of research methods and statistics. In recent years, I developed CoCites, a fundamentally new method for searching scientific literature. This method uses citations instead of keywords to find articles on the same specific topic. The method is ideal for literature reviews and meta-analyses, but also for quick searches to find the best-known studies on a niche topic. Also, she teaches  Critical Thinking, Grant Writing, and Scientific Writing At the Rollins School of Public Health  and I moderate the capstone projects and the journal club for our PhD students. At Emory College, I teach Critiquing Health News.

David Jou Mirabent

  • Topic: Dealing between ideologies, interests, beliefs and evolutionary theory.

David Jou is a physicist and a poet, author of a wide literary, essay and scientific work. PhD in Physics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, from 1989 he is full professor of Physics of Condensed Matter at this University, and doctor honoris causa of the Universitat de Girona. He has published more than 270 research papers and several research books and monographs. As a poet, he has published 23 books with a special focus on scientific, religious, political topics, as well as movies, paintings and arts. His essays are one of the most active examples of the third culture, namely, a bridge between science and humanities. Some examples are God, cosmos, chaos: horizons of the dialog between science and religion (2008), The expressivity of Creation (with Mònica Rozman, 2010) and The poetry of infinite: science and mysticism (2012). He has also translated to Catalan and Spanish language several books by Stephen Hawking as the Brief history of time, The universe in a nutshell or The grand design. As a popular-science writer, he was a collaborator of the section of science and technology of La Vanguardia (the main newspaper in Barcelona) from 1984 to 1994, and has given more than 350 public lectures.

And more to be confirmed!