New Horizons in Science

presented by

New Horizons in Science 2016 Program

SA Sunday Session 1

The faces behind digital crime and cyberterrorism

30 Oct 2016 -
8:30am to 9:30am
Social Science
eye in digital background

Digital crime and cyberespionage have become almost daily news. Networks of cybercriminals and cyberspies are not only taking a serious financial toll on many companies and financial institutions, but are now also threatening national security and possibly meddling in the US election.

Max Kilger

senior lecturer
Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security, University of Texas at San Antonio

SA Sunday Session 2a

How neurons build networks: A scientist mashes up smartphone data, graph theory and biochemistry

30 Oct 2016 -
9:30am to 10:30am

How do networks form in the brain? This question, engineer Amina Qutub thinks, is crucial to understanding the machinery of the cell and the role of cellular functions in disease and repair in the brain. One of Qutub's studies is reverse-engineering the construction of neurons and neural networks in Alzheimer's patients.

Amina Ann Qutub

assistant professor
Department of Bioengineering, Rice University

Nonhuman primate research in the post-chimpanzee era

30 Oct 2016 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Animals in Research

The recent NIH decision to stop supporting biomedical research on chimpanzees means a significant shift in direction for organizations such as the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio. Scientists working to develop vaccines for viral hepatitis, for example, now will rely on molecular characterization of immune response to candidate vaccines to assess their safety rather than vaccinating chimpanzees.

Robert Lanford

director, Southwest National Primate Research Center
scientist, Department of Virology and Immunology
Texas Biomedical Research Institute

SA Sunday Break 1

SA Sunday Session 3

SA Sunday Lunch

SA Sunday Tour 2

SA Sunday Session 4

Science + Science Writing: The next Flint crisis (and why there will be one)

30 Oct 2016 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm

The scandal over lead contamination of the Flint, Mich., water system, left in its wake huge questions for public officials, scientists and journalists. The Flint situation was exposed and addressed through the work of a vocal citizen, a journalist working for the ACLU, and a small group of scientists in Virginia.

Curt Guyette

investigative reporter
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan

Siddhartha Roy

environmental engineer and Ph.D. candidate
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

SA Sunday Tour 3

SA Sunday Session 5a

Traumatic brain injury, stroke and aging: Novel insights from biology

30 Oct 2016 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm

As neuroscientists focus increasingly on brain injury, a complex picture is emerging. Mark Shapiro studies why seizures develop into epilepsy, a question important in the search for therapies for traumatic brain injury, where disabling seizures sometimes set in months or years after the original injury.

James Lechleiter

professor of cellular and structural biology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Mark Shapiro

professor of physiology
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

What artificial intelligence is and isn't: Programming creativity

30 Oct 2016 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm

What, really, is computer intelligence? What can robots do better than we do? Mark Riedl, the computer scientist who taught robots to tell stories, is taking his experiments in computer creativity a step further. His goal is not to understand human creativity or train fleets of robot writers and artists, he insists, but rather to understand how an artificial intelligence can be creative and improvisational.

Mark Riedl

associate professor
School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

SA Sunday Session 6a

Science + Science Writing: Inside AI

30 Oct 2016 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm

Following up on Mark Riedl's presentation, reporters and artificial-intelligence researchers will discuss what science writers need to know about AI and about who will and should reap its benefits.

Andrea Thomaz

associate professor of electrical and computer engineering
University of Texas at Austin

Scott Niekum

assistant professor
Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin

Age, sex and meddling microbes: An update on cancer immunotherapy

30 Oct 2016 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm

Scientists' attempts to harness the immune system to fight cancer have met with mixed and often disappointing results. Tyler Curiel's lab is one of those working to find out why. He was the first to show that age makes a major difference in how the immune system responds to immunotherapy; an experiment showed that a therapy that beat back melanoma in young mice failed in old mice because of a specific additional component of the older animals' immune response.

Tyler Curiel

Daisy M. Skinner President's Chair in Cancer Immunology Research
professor of medicine
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio

SA Sunday Evening 1

SA Monday Tour 1

SA Monday Session 1a

Cultivating citizen science to reduce environmental risks

31 Oct 2016 -
8:30am to 9:30am

Across America, environmental contamination is a persistent concern for many lower-income neighborhoods. Monica Ramirez-Andreotta focuses her research on contamination that affects everyday life. Typically scientists recruit "citizen scientists" to explore questions scientists ask. By contrast, Ramirez-Andreotta engages residents in motivating and framing research questions and policy issues, collecting data and, ultimately, reporting on the work to policymakers and working together to mitigate risks.

Monica Ramirez-Andreotta

assistant professor
Soil, Water and Environmental Science and Division of Community Environment and Policy

New insights into the secret lives of dinosaurs

31 Oct 2016 -
8:30am to 9:30am

By merging fossil evidence with a range of new technologies and methods, Julia Clarke and her colleagues are piecing together the story of how dinosaurs went through the adaptations and evolutionary tradeoffs that produced the vast diversity seen today in their living descendants, the 10,000 species of birds on earth. Clarke will share new insights from the fossil record and describe how the brains, bodies and behavior of birds help reveal how their dinosaur ancestors looked, sounded and moved in the real Jurassic world.

Julia Clarke

professor and John A.Wilson Centennial Fellow in vertebrate paleontology
Jackson School of Geosciences

SA Monday Tour 2

SA Monday Session 2a

Self-driving cars and smart highways: A reality check

31 Oct 2016 -
9:30am to 10:30am

Are self-driving vehicles really coming to your neighborhood? Steve Dellenback, who works with industry and military research programs on autonomous vehicles, doesn't think so. Sensor technology has a long way to go to compete with the best sensor network around—the human body and brain.

Steve Dellenback

vice president, Automation and Data Systems Division
Southwest Research Institute

What lizard sex tells us about behavioral evolution

31 Oct 2016 -
9:30am to 10:30am

Michele Johnson wonders how different parts of an animal's body work together to produce behavior. She has zoomed in on an area of behavior at the center of evolution—courtship and copulation—and a group of species where just a few body parts are used. In male anole lizards, a single muscle controls courtship displays, and just two muscles control the paired copulatory organs called hemipenes.

SA Monday Break 1

SA Monday Tour 4

SA Monday Session 3

A "bully planet" unmasked: Insights from the Juno mission

31 Oct 2016 -
11:00am to 12:00pm
Planetary Science

Space fans celebrated in July as NASA's Juno probe screamed toward Jupiter and slipped flawlessly into orbit around the monster planet after a 5-year journey from Earth. As science writers register for ScienceWriters2016, Juno is looping through two broad elliptical orbits, taking preliminary scientific measurements and preparing to move into tighter loops. Scott Bolton, principal investigator for the mission, will provide an update as Juno prepares to change orbits.

Scott Bolton

associate vice president
Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute

SA Monday Lunch

SA Monday Tour 5

SA Monday Session 4

Science + Science Writing: Science, climate change and the 2016 presidential election

31 Oct 2016 -
1:15pm to 2:30pm
Science Policy

ScienceWriters2016 will wrap just a week before the US presidential election. For the first time, climate change—and the divide between the two parties and their candidates—has emerged as a top-level issue in the national campaign.

Chris Mooney

energy and environment reporter
Washiington Post

Connie Roser-Renouf

associate research professor
Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University

SA Monday Break 2

SA Monday Session 5

Genomic parasitology: New weapons against malaria and other tropical diseases

31 Oct 2016 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm

A malaria infection isn't just a war between the victim's immune system and a parasite. When the parasites' genomes are sequenced, scientists often find many genotypes competing within a single victim. The parasites' dauntingly complex community structure is one of the factors driving the continuing emergence of resistance to antimalarial drugs.

Ian Cheeseman

assistant scientist
Geraldine M. Goldstein young scientist
Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Tim Anderson

Texas Biomedical Research Institute

SA Monday Evening 2

Tour and reception: Trinity University science facility and Carl Wieman lecture

31 Oct 2016 -
5:30pm to 9:00pm

Trinity University welcomes Nobel Prize winner Carl Wieman (Nobel Prize in Physics, 2001) to speak at 7:00 p.m. in Laurie Auditorium on undergraduate STEM education (reserved seating for NASW attendees). NASW attendees will take a shuttle to Trinity University for a reception in the atrium of Trinity’s new science building prior to the talk (beer, wine, soft drinks, and heavy hors d' oeuvres).


SA Sunday Welcome

SA Sunday Tour 1

SA Sunday Break 2

SA Monday Session 6

SA Monday Breakfast 2

Subscribe to

About CASW

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public. Directed and advised by distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative writing about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.

Follow CASW