ARVO/Alcon Keynote Series


ARVO/Alcon Keynote Series

Opening Keynote Speaker

Sunday, May 5
10:15 - 11:45am PT
Seattle Convention Center - Arch Building (Level 6, Room 6ABC)


Ed Yong

Exploring the realm of animal perception

Ed Yong
Pulitzer Prize winner
and bestselling author

In this engaging lecture based on his most recent book, An Immense World, Yong takes audiences through the hidden realms of animal senses with a special focus on the extraordinarily varied ways in which other creatures see the world. With wit and humor learn the amazing ways in which animals perceive aspects of the world to which we are oblivious.

In 2021, Yong was awarded journalism’s top honor, the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, for his crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. He has also won the George Polk Award for science reporting; the Victor Cohn Prize for medical-science reporting; the Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for investigative journalism; the John P. McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association; and the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award for in-depth reporting. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, National Geographic, the New Yorker, Wired, Nature, New Scientist and Scientific American, among others.

book cover of An Immense WorldYong is the best-selling author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us, a groundbreaking, informative, and entertaining examination of the relationship between animals and microbes. His second book, An Immense World, is a New York Times bestseller that takes a comprehensive look at the fascinating sensory worlds of animals. It is longlisted for the PEN America 2023 Literary Award and has made many Best Books of the Year lists.

An accomplished speaker, Yong brings his vast scientific knowledge and engages his audiences through his insightful conversations about the pandemic, the animal kingdom, the challenges of science journalism and more.

* Attendees have an opportunity to get a personally signed copy of Yong's book, An Immense World, immediately following the session.


Closing Keynote

Thursday, May 9
10:15 - 11:30am PT
Seattle Convention Center - Arch Building  (Level 6, Room 6BC)

Sheril Kirshenbaum

Communicating science

Sheril Kirshenbaum
Emmy Award-winning scientist
and author

Science shapes our world, but public engagement and understanding of research and innovation are critical if new advances are to reach their full potential and science is to appeal to a wider and more diverse group of people. Effective science communication builds broad interest in science and can foster trust between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Drawing on academic literature and decades of experience in science communication and policy, Kirshenbaum will address best practices to connect with different audiences, counter the rise of misinformation, promote evidence-based thinking and inform the decision-making process.

Kirshenbaum works to enhance public understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers and the public. In 2023, she was awarded a regional Emmy by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the PBS series she hosts and writes, Serving Up Science, currently in its fourth season.

An academic specialist at Michigan State University, Kirshenbaum's current research focuses on how senior congressional staffers make decisions about science and policy. Her work has been published in scientific journals, including Science and Nature, and she is featured in the anthology, The Best American Science Writing 2010. Her books include Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future (co-authored with Chris Mooney) and The Science of Kissing.

Kirshenbaum has been a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Marshall Memorial Fellow, a legislative NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Fellow in the U.S. Senate with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and a Next Generation Fellow through the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law. She has hosted blogs with Scientific American, Wired, and Discover Magazines, as well as the NPR podcast, Serving Up Science.



ARVO/Alcon Logo 

The ARVO/Alcon Keynote Series is sponsored by the ARVO Foundation through the generous support of Alcon.