2024 SENCER Summer Institute

  • 01 Aug 2024
  • 4:00 PM
  • 04 Aug 2024
  • 6:00 PM
  • online


  • Registration Fees are waived for Lifetime Members.
  • For Basic, Patron, and Sustainer members of NCSCE (go to ncsce.wildapricot.org to join)


Humanizing STEM: Higher Education’s Role in Realizing the Social Contract for Science

In 1997 Jane Lubchenco, the incoming President of the American Association for Science, issued a call for "a new social contract for science." She believed scientists should re-examine their obligations to society in order to serve society better, engage with society, and craft solutions to problems, not just diagnose them. 23 years later, reflecting on her call, Lubchenco believes the scientific community has made much progress in meeting those goals for greater engagement and responsibility in addressing our great civic and social challenges. However, she warns " the culture of academia continues to impede progress....It is time for strategic, collective action to change the culture of academia and create the enabling conditions for science to serve society better.

Since 2001 the thousands of science educators who have adopted SENCER strategies have worked tirelessly to change academic culture and play their part in delivering on the social contract between science and a truly inclusive democratic society. However, higher education institutions, as well as external economic  and political forces, have made this work more difficult than ever through policies and practices that contradict academic values and principles. However, while our individual efforts seems like a drop in the ocean, they prove that the world we are working towards is possible, and these efforts have inestimable value to our students, our colleagues, and communities. This meeting's goal is to recognize, celebrate, and build community for the more humane, socially responsible, educational practice that will make a better future for us all and point the way to "strategic, collective action."  Each of our Keynote speakers embody this commitment and contribute to this goal.


Mays Imad, Re-Humanizing STEM Education

Mays Imad is Assistant Professor of Biology and Equity Pedagogy at Connecticut College. Prior to that, she founded the Teaching & Learning Center at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, where she also taught for over ten years in the department of life and physical sciences. A Gardner Institute Fellow and an American Association of Colleges and Universities Senior Fellow, Dr. Imad’s research focuses on stress, biofeedback and self-regulation, critical feeling, and cultivating resilience, and how these impact student learning and success. A nationally recognized expert on trauma-informed teaching and learning, Dr. Imad works to promote inclusive, equitable, and contextual education--all rooted in the latest research on the neurobiology of learning. She is co-author of the recent article “Recasting the agreements to re-humanize STEM education.”

Joseph Graves, Social Justice and the Biology of Race

Joseph L. Graves Jr. is a professor in the Department of Biology at North Carolina A&T State University. He is a fellow of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His books include A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pioneering Biologist Explains How Evolution Can Help Us Solve Our Biggest Problems (2022). Graves was named a “Genius Award” honoree by the Liberty Science Center.

Luke O’Neill, Trust the Science 

Dr. O’Neill is professor of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, where he leads an 18-member research team working on the molecular basis of inflammation and inflammatory diseases. He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society/Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence in 2009, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences in 2012, and the European Federation of Immunological Societies Medal in 2014. He was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2005 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. In addition to being one of the world’s most influential scientists, Dr. O’Neill is also a podcaster, columnist, and best-selling author of popular books that celebrate the joy of scientific discovery and the importance of trusting scientific expertise, particularly during crises like COVID-19. His books include Keep Calm and Trust the Science, Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science, and the children’s book Show me the Science. Listen to his Show me the Science podcast HERE.

David Asai, NCSCE’s 2024 Wm. E. Bennett Award for Civically Engaged Science Education

David Asai was formerly Senior Director for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and well known to many in the SENCER community for his important advocacy and generous support of inclusive STEM education. His many initiatives supported formal science education at the pre-college, college/university, and graduate levels and all emphasized the importance of advancing inclusive diversity in science, which is primarily the responsibility of the institution in which students learn and train. Just some of those initiatives were Inclusive Excellence, Driving Change, HHMI Professors, the Science Education Alliance (SEA), the Gilliam graduate program.  For his work Dr. Asai received the 2022 Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education.

As in the recent past, the meeting will be held on Zoom, and all sessions will be sequential and not concurrent.  In addition to keynotes, plenaries and invited sessions we invite proposals of 5 minute lightning talks (recorded or live) featuring individual projects that exemplify SENCER strategies and approaches. 

Registration fee for the four-day meeting will be 150.00, and 100.00 for NCSCE members. Registration will open May 27, 2024.

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