PopTech, the renowned international thought leadership and innovation accelerator network, has announced the inaugural class of participants in a program to address the crucial need for scientists as socially engaged, public communicators: the Science and Public Leadership Fellows.
The program, which selected Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego assistant professor Amro Hamdoun and Scripps alumna Kim Cobb, acknowledges the critically important role science plays in improving society and the simultaneous decline in public understanding of the field. President Obama recently stated, “Today, more than ever before, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.” PopTech, which is dedicated to accelerating the positive impact of world-changing people, projects and ideas, is one of the organizations seeking to nurture scientific luminaries to transcend their respective technical communities while becoming visible public leaders, focused on meaningful outcomes.
PopTech confronts this issue through its long-term commitment and partnership with the Science and Public Leadership Fellows. PopTech will provide intensive, high-quality training, a powerful social network comprised of scientific media and corporate and academic leaders, ongoing mentoring and opportunities for public leadership and engagement. The fellows, 18 early and mid-career scientists, receive a year-round set of benefits, beginning with the opportunity to participate – at no expense – in a special, invitation-only leadership development retreat at the Banbury Center of the acclaimed Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which convened in August 2010. The Fellows also will be invited to participate in the annual PopTech 2010 conference, taking place October 21-23 in Camden, Maine.
Hamdoun is an assistant professor of marine biology in the Scripps Marine Biology Research Division. He is a cell biologist studying how chemical pollution impacts human and environmental health. Cobb, now an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is a climatologist exploring the mechanisms of global climate change. She earned a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps in 2002.
The PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program, now in its third year, was the first groundbreaking mentorship series for PopTech, equipping world-changing innovators with the tools, insights, visibility and social network that can help them scale their work and truly achieve impact. PopTech’s commitment to devising new approaches to the planet’s toughest challenges by leveraging available and burgeoning technology, various modes of communication and innovation has been a long-standing hallmark of the organization.
PopTech would like to thank all its partners and supporters, without whom this vital and innovative program would not be fully realized. The following have played an integral role in bringing this program from ideation to inception: Microsoft Research, Intel, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Geographic, National Science Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the New York Academy of Sciences. PopTech would also like to thank the world-renowned advisory board who assisted with the selection of the first class of fellows and participate in the program’s leadership training program.
PopTech is a new kind of innovation accelerator – a community of cutting-edge leaders, thinkers and doers from many different disciplines who come together to explore the social impact of technology and the forces of change shaping the future. PopTech’s one-of-a-kind network includes innovators in wide-ranging fields such as science, technology, green energy, sustainable ecomaterials, violence cessation, design, and the corporate, entrepreneurial and social sectors. PopTech’s mission is to accelerate the positive impact of world-changing people and ideas and foster unconventional collaborations that tackle some of the world’s most significant challenges and lead to real and lasting change. PopTech is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Garren, who studies coastal and marine issues in Scripps’ Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, was awarded $15,000 as a Switzer Environmental Fellow. The Switzer Foundation awards annual fellowships for emerging environmental leaders “to advance their skills and develop their expertise to address critical conservation challenges.”