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RTI Fellow Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series

A dynamic forum featuring leading scientists sharing their life’s work

Sharing knowledge is part of our mission to improve the human condition. In the RTI Fellow Program’s Distinguished Lecture Series, our most notable scientists invite experts from within and beyond RTI to speak on world-changing developments in medicine, energy, international development, and many other fields. We welcome the wider community to these free lectures to be informed and inspired.

Timely Topics from the Forefront of Science

The series kicked off in the spring of 2015 with Blake Wilson, a former RTI researcher and current co-director of the Duke Hearing Center. Wilson’s role in the invention of the cochlear implant led him to win the Russ Prize for bioengineering in 2014 and the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 2013. He discussed improvements in cochlear implant technology that enable better representations of sound.

Since then, we have heard from more outstanding leaders about issues affecting science and society:

  • Arun Majumdar, a Stanford professor, founding director of Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, and former vice president for energy at Google, presenting “Options to Create a Sustainable Energy Future”
  • Aaron Williams, RTI executive vice president for government relations and corporate communications, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former director of the U.S. Peace Corps, and longtime senior USAID official, presenting “U.S. Peace Corps in the 21st Century – The Role of Volunteerism and Service in Our Society”
  • Dr. Rengaswamy Sankaranarayanan, a radiation oncologist, chief of the cancer screening group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and recipient of the 2007 Paul B. Carbonne Award for International Oncology, presenting “Emerging Evidence for Suitable Cancer Screening Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
  • Joseph M. DeSimone, a chemical engineer, 2016 winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and one of fewer than 20 individuals who have been elected to all three branches of the National Academies, presenting “Instead of 2D Printing Over and Over Again: Continuous Liquid Interface Production of 3D Objects.”
  • Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, known for demonstrating that drug addiction is a disease of the human brain, presenting “How Do Drugs Enslave Our Brains?”
  • Michael Macy, a professor and director of the Social Dynamics Laboratory at Cornell University, presenting "Digital Footprints and the Future of Social Sciences," about the use of online research in the study of human behavior.

Future speakers will carry on the tradition of presenting vital topics designed to spark conversations and collaborations among the members of our audience.

World-class Speakers within Easy Reach of RTP Businesses and Institutions

Our Distinguished Lecture Series is tailor-made for the knowledge economy of the Triangle area. Events appeal to academics from the many local colleges and universities, professionals from high-tech and research-driven businesses and organizations, and anyone interested in hearing directly from some of the world’s leading scientists in an open, accessible atmosphere.