Creativity, Communication, and Compassion: The Role of Science and Science Literacy

Amy Cheng Vollmer, professor of biology


A “good society” benefits from having specialists. Among those specialists who lend their creative skills to society are scientists. Others are often surprised to hear that the scientific enterprise is a creative one; this is partly due to lack of clear and compassionate communication between scientists and nonscientists. While people do not deny that their lives benefit from many aspects of technology, few understand or appreciate that the foundation for the technology is scientific discovery. I will share ideas about building a scientifically literate society in which there is open communication based on mutual respect and trust.

Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer, an authority on microbiology and biotechnology, focuses her research on bacterial stress response, particularly in prokaryotes such as E. coli. She also is the president of the Waksman Foundation for Microbiology.