SciTS 2021 Featured Speakers and Panelists

Virginia Tech and INSciTS are proud to present a slate of world-class scholars, educators, and practitioners of team science at our online conference this June.

 Conference Partners

In addition to our featured speakers, SciTS 2021 will include presentations, workshops, and collaborative panels from contributors from around the world.


 Featured Keynote Speakers

Dr. Lori Peek

Dr. Lori Peek (Professor and Director of the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder)

Dr. Lance Collins Dr. Lance Collins (Vice President and Executive Director, Virginia Tech Innovation Campus)
Dr. Sabine Hoffmann Dr. Sabine Hoffmann (Leader, Inter- and Trans-disciplinary Research, The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology).
Gopi Gopalakrishnan

Mr. Gopi Gopalakrishnan (President, World Health Partners)

Invited Plenaries 

  • Leading Across Sectors to Solve Grand Challenges


Special Round Tables


Confirmed Live Interactive Workshops    
  • The Art of Connecting Across Difference: A Participatory Workshop in Communication Awareness (Patty Raun, Virginia Tech)
    • Effective communication across differences of all kinds is needed to activate the important work of team science and to address civilization’s most complex challenges. In this workshop, tools and practices from the theatre will be introduced to help participants bridge divisions, helping participants  to learn to listen deeply, interact personally, directly, spontaneously, and responsively, and express themselves vividly. The communication skills gained through this approach transfer to collaborative innovation and creative problem-solving, with many "side benefits" along the way.  For example, researchers who are effective at connecting across differences can help build diversity in the STEM workforce. Building collaborative skills in undergraduate and graduate students results in cohorts of graduates who are able to work with others effectively across a variety of "difference": research specialty, gender, race, ethnicity, age, and more.

  • Serious Games: A Tool to Advance Transdisciplinary Collaboration  (Todd Schenk, Virginia Tech)
    • Effective transdisciplinary collaboration that involves wider stakeholder engagement is critical to tackling many of our most pressing challenges. Divergent perceptions of the nature of such problems and viability of various possible solutions, different ontologies or ways of knowing, and conflicting interests and priorities, and can greatly complicate transdisciplinary efforts. Serious games can offer opportunities for decision-makers, technical experts, and other stakeholders to explore a problem space together, learning about the situation and each other and experimenting in a low-cost environment. This workshop will introduce serious games through an interactive exercise and discussion.

  • Team Science 101 (Julie Thompson Klein, Wayne State University; Darshana Shah, Marshall University; Kara Hall, National Cancer Institute; Stephen Fiore, University of Central Florida)
    • “Team Science 101” introduces participants to the basics of team science including: Key Definitions, Structures and Processes, Education and Training, and Rewards and Recognition. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss individual experiences and needs in breakout groups.

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