Michael Specter's keynotes speak to the importance of science in human progress. He has written a book, 'Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,' which seeks to counter the ambivalence many people have towards science.
Science is obviously not the most cut and dry pursuit. Yet, Specter is by trade a journalist. He brings his professional skills to bare both in his writing and speaking, taking often opaque, difficult material and communicating the most essential points to a layman audience.
Specter's skills have earned him a number of awards. He has twice been presented with the Global Health Council's Annual Excellence in Media Award. For his reporting in Chechnya, he earned the Overseas Press Club’s Citation for Excellence; In 2002 he was the presented with AAAS Science Journalism Award.
A graduate of Vassar College, Specter would go on to write for such illustrious publications as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Since 1998 he has been a staff writer for The New Yorker, covering issues relating to global public health and science and technology.