Wednesday, August 10, 2022

ASTC 2011 speakers include Jane Lubchenco of NOAA, Owen Gaffney of IGBP & science writer Michael Specter

Hosted by the Maryland Science Center, the annual conference of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) will take place October 15–18.


Jane Lubchenco, appointed by President Barack Obama to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore. Lubchenco holds a doctorate in ecology and has received a MacArthur (“Genius”) fellowship, among many other professional honors. She has studied marine ecosystems around the world and is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists.
At NOAA, Lubchenco is focusing on the agency’s highest-priority initiatives and believes that “with the best science as our guide, NOAA can revive our fisheries and the economies they support, advance the next-generation geostationary and polar-orbiting weather satellites, and enhance NOAA’s diverse portfolio of climate services that are vital to the national effort to manage and mitigate climate change.”


Owen Gaffney, director of communications at the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Stockholm, Sweden, has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore. The IGBP, a project of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is one of four international programs coordinating global-change research. A respected science journalist, Gaffney was previously head of publications at the Natural Environment Research Council in the U.K., where he edited the award-winning magazine Planet Earth and launched the online news site He has written for the BBC’s Focus magazine and the AAAS journal, Science.
Gaffney is currently directing communications for the conference “Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Toward Solutions,” to be held in London next March in advance of the United Nations summit on sustainable development, “Rio +20,” scheduled for June 2012. The conference will outline the latest research on the state of the planet and discuss a new contract between science and society. These two events will help launch a ten-year research initiative on global sustainability.


Michael Specter, a New Yorker staff writer who often explores science, technology, and public health issues, has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore.
Since joining the staff of the New Yorker in 1998, Michael Specter has written about the global AIDS epidemic, avian influenza, malaria, the world’s diminishing freshwater resources, synthetic biology, and the debate over the meaning of our carbon footprint. In his 2009 book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives, Specter argues that the public’s growing mistrust of the institution of science has led to a war on progress. His views are rigorously researched and highly challenging.
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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