New Horizons in Science

presented by

New Horizons in Science 2014 Program

Columbus 2014 Sunday breakfast

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 1

Guns, gender, race and violent video games: Searching for the roots of modern aggression

19 Oct 2014 -
8:30am to 9:30am
Emina Visnic

Do violent video games and movies really induce aggressive behavior and fuel racial and gender stereotypes? Does the increasing amount of gun violence in PG-13 movies harm children? These hotly debated questions have made Brad Bushman a lightning rod for controversy. Bushman’s experiments suggest that playing a violent video game strengthens race and gender stereotypes as well as aggressive impulses. Bushman is collaborating in several studies designed to tease out the mechanisms behind these influences and look at longer-term effects.

Brad J. Bushman

professor of communication and psychology; Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication
The Ohio State University

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 2

Here comes CRISPR: The game-changing power of genome engineering

19 Oct 2014 -
9:30am to 10:30am

Four decades after the first direct manipulation of DNA by humans, genome engineering has suddenly become something you can do in your garage. The technology transforming the field is called CRISPR, for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats.” CRISPRs are scavenged DNA “spacers” that bacteria use to defend against viruses; today they are being harnessed in the lab as precise, efficient genome editors. 

George M. Church

professor of genetics; director,
Harvard Medical School

Columbus 2014 Sunday break 1

Columbus 2014 Sunday tour 1

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 3 Parallel Sessions

Navigating a minefield: Seeking and telling the truth about genetically modified crops

19 Oct 2014 -
11:00am to 12:15pm
Yann Forget

Since crop breeders first picked up the tools of modern genetic engineering, scientists have been on the front lines of political and cultural strife over both the safety and environmental effects of modified crops. Research results are quickly turned into press releases by alarmists on one extreme and alliances of commercial interests and agricultural innovators on the other. 

Allison Snow

professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology
The Ohio State University

Billions and billions of molecules: Exploring chemical space

19 Oct 2014 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm

Astronomers and oceanographers have nothing on Alán Aspuru-Guzik. His cosmos, the space of chemistry, is vast—populated by no less than 1060 possible molecules. Equipped with fast computers powered by principles of quantum chemistry and artificial intelligence, his lab conducts warp-speed searches for candidate molecules for energy and electronics. 

Columbus 2014 Sunday tunch


19 Oct 2014 -
12:15pm to 2:15pm

Have lunch with one of 22 Ohio State research scientists and chat about topics from cosmology, cholera and cats to nanotechnology, numeracy and oral bacteria. ScienceWriters 2014 will take over the Ohio Union on Sunday afternoon for these lunch gatherings. Information about scientists and their lunch topics may be found here.

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 4 Patrusky Lecture

The 2014 Patrusky Lecture: The human evolutionary journey

19 Oct 2014 -
2:15pm to 3:15pm
Hamed Saber

As the storehouse of hominid fossils and information about the human genome continues to grow, our evolutionary journey appears to be more complicated than anticipated. Reaching back to 6 million years ago, fossil hominid finds have prompted significant redrawing of the human family tree. Donald Johanson and others have painted a picture of human origins with broad brushstrokes revealing who our ancestors were, where they lived, how they survived and what they contributed to modern Homo sapiens

Donald C. Johanson

Virginia M. Ullman Chair in Human Origins; professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, founding director, Institute of Human Origins
Arizona State University

Columbus 2014 Sunday tour 2

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 5 Parallel Sessions

Shaking the bird family tree

19 Oct 2014 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm

Now that genome sequencing allows scientists to paint an evolutionary portrait of large groups of species, Erich Jarvis says our view of the way many important traits evolved is about to change. Jarvis has focused his studies on the evolution of vocal learning in songbirds and humans—and through a careful examination of molecular pathways he’s found that this ability has evolved several times.

Erich Jarvis

associate professor of neurobiology and HHMI Investigator
Duke University

Personal transportation for sustainable megacities

19 Oct 2014 -
3:30pm to 4:30pm
Herzi Pinki

For the first time in history, more people now live in cities than rural areas. Experts predict that the population of the developing world will continue to migrate to megacities, which are increasingly the centers for both economic growth and catastrophic problems in nations of the Asian Subcontinent and Latin America. 

Giorgio Rizzoni

professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and electrical and computer engineering director and senior fellow, Center for Automotive Research Ford Motor Company Chair in Electromechanical Systems
The Ohio State University

Columbus 2014 Sunday Session 6 Parallel Sessions

Updating the HPV story: A cancer’s shifting “behavioral genomics”

19 Oct 2014 -
4:30pm to 5:30pm
Ed Uthman

A decade ago, few doctors suspected that most head and neck cancers were caused by a virus—human papillomavirus or HPV, the same agent implicated in most cervical cancer. Maura Gillison, the young oncologist who brought the connection to light, has spent her career chasing one of the fastest-changing cancers on the planet. 

Maura Gillison

professor of medicine, epidemiology and otolaryngology; Jeg Coughlin Chair of Cancer Research
The Ohio State University

The long-awaited dawn of neutrino astronomy

19 Oct 2014 -
11:00am to 12:15pm

Last year, while the physics community was still talking about the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson, a quiet discovery was made deep under the ice of Antarctica. IceCube, a vast telescope made of photomultipliers embedded in ice, had detected the first neutrinos from deep space. It was the dawn of a new era in astronomy, in which electromagnetic radiation is no longer the only means of probing the distant universe.

John Beacom

professor of physics and astronomy; director, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics
The Ohio State University

Columbus 2014 Monday breakfast

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 1

Droughts, El Niño events and Black Swans: The record written in tropical glaciers

20 Oct 2014 -
8:30am to 9:30am
Hugo Pedel

What role does environment play in human history? We know about earthquakes, floods and similar catastrophes, but the influences of global climate on human civilization are harder to tease from the evidence. In 2013, Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson announced an analysis of two tropical ice cores drilled from Peru's Quelccaya Ice Cap. This record, which they called a “Rosetta Stone” of climate history, was so detailed that they could discern annual variations in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric chemistry over the past 14 centuries.

Ellen Mosley-Thompson

professor of geography; Distinguished University Professor; director, Byrd Polar Research Center
The Ohio State University

Lonnie Thompson

Distinguished University Professor; senior research scientist
Byrd Polar Research Center

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 2 Parallel Sessions

Metabolism: A new link between marital stress, depression and health

20 Oct 2014 -
9:30am to 10:30am

When psychologist Jan Kiecolt-Glaser encountered nutritional studies showing that high-fat meals can cause inflammation, she wondered what might happen if you added stress to the equation. Now a series of experiments suggests that marital stress and clinical depression can affect health in ways never before studied. 

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser

professor of psychiatry and psychology; Distinguished University Professor
The Ohio State University

Martha Belury

Carol S. Kennedy Professor of nutrition
The Ohio State University

Beyond graphene: Tunable one-atom-thick materials for tomorrow’s technology

20 Oct 2014 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Ququ ru

If you haven't kept a close eye on the fast-moving field of solid-state materials, you might not realize that novel carbon-based electronic materials such as nanotubes and graphene are already yesterday’s news. While some groups look for ways to overcome the limitations of these fascinating materials, Josh Goldberger’s lab is moving down the periodic table to create exotic single-atom-thick materials from germanium (“germanane”) and tin (“stannanane”) and build extraordinarily tiny transistors from them.

Josh Goldberger

assistant professor of chemistry
The Ohio State University

Columbus 2014 Monday break 1

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 3 Parallel Sessions

Coyotes in the Loop: A close-up of survival in the urban core

20 Oct 2014 -
11:00am to 12:00pm

The “ghosts of the Plains” are fast becoming shadowy denizens of downtown. Stan Gehrt has been tracking Chicago’s urban coyote population for a decade and is now getting answers to some of their great mysteries, thanks to GPS collars, wearable night-vision cameras and stable-isotope analysis of coyote whiskers. 

Stanley Gehrt

associate professor of wildlife ecology; extension wildlife specialist
The Ohio State University

Not just flocking: “Active matter” studies aim to understand wound healing, metastasis

20 Oct 2014 -
11:00am to 12:00pm

Penguins huddle, wounds heal, mosh pits writhe. Bring together a collection of self-propelled individuals, and you get “active matter”— collective behavior that produces unusual patterns and drives many of the processes important to life. 

Columbus 2014 Monday lunch

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 4

BICEP2: Strong support for inflationary cosmology, or a cloud of dust?

20 Oct 2014 -
1:00pm to 2:00pm

The cosmology community was set abuzz early this year when the BICEP2 collaboration announced that their South Pole telescope had detected the imprint of gravitational waves from the early universe. Finally, it appeared, an instrument had peered through the cosmic background radiation (CMB) to the first moments of the universe, its observations giving a significant boost to the inflationary theory of the big bang. Then questions began coming: Had the astronomers properly accounted for galactic dust? Could dust produce the same patterns?

Columbus 2014 Monday tour 3

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 5

Lessons in the communication of science from the BICEP2 story

20 Oct 2014 -
2:00pm to 2:30pm

This follow-up discussion will take a look at lessons learned by scientists and science writers involved with the BICEP2 story, which inspired wide Nobel speculation and looked like it might be the science discovery of the century when the results were released March 17, well ahead of planned publication in June. 

Columbus 2014 Monday break 2

Columbus 2014 Monday tour 4

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 6

Progress toward targeted cancer therapies: A new role for microRNA

20 Oct 2014 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm
ryan Jeffs

In 2001, the targeted drug imatinib (Gleevec) was hailed as one of the first “bullet” treatments for cancer: a targeted therapy that successfully disrupted a molecular pathway involved in tumor growth. Are there more targeted therapies on the horizon? Carlo Croce, one of the scientists whose work drives development of such drugs, is optimistic. Croce showed in 2002 that the molecular pathways to cancer all involve dysregulation of microRNAs—small noncoding RNA molecules now known to be important in the regulation of gene expression. 

Carlo Croce

Distinguished University Professor and chair, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics; director, Human Cancer Genetics Program, director, OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Ohio State University

Columbus 2014 Monday Session 7

Prediction, perception and how we shape memory

20 Oct 2014 -
4:00pm to 5:00pm

How do we remember? In Per Sederberg's view, the brain is a prediction machine: It carries around representations of the world, stores associations between those representations and then dynamically changes them with experience. The stored context developed through experience informs the predictions we continue to make as we move through life; these predictions shape our perception, learning and subsequent memories and may even create our personality.

Per Sederberg

assistant professor of psychology; associate director, Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences
The Ohio State University
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