Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

Scientist and
Science Communicator

Ainissa Ramirez is a scientist who is best known as one of the world’s foremost science communicators—a “science evangelist,” as she calls it—with a message heard by millions. She is also the author of the award-winning book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another (The MIT Press, 2020). This book examines how technology shaped us and has been loved by readers. It was an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist in the category of Science and Technology. It was named as one of the Best Summer Science Books of 2020 by Amazon and by Science Friday, and it was selected as one of Smithsonian Magazine’s Ten Best Science Books of 2020. This book also won the Connecticut Book Award as well as the AAAS/Subaru Book Prize.  

Ramirez speaks widely on the topics of science and technology and gave a TED talk on the importance of science education. She has been awarded prizes from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the American Institute of Physics. She speaks internationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and several science museums. She also hosts a science podcast called Science Underground.

Ramirez has appeared as a technology expert on national and international media, including CBS, CNN, NPR, ESPN, The History Channel, PBS, and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk.  She has also written for TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, and Scientific American.Currently, she is creating STEM-themed picture books for young children, with the intention of inspiring the next generation of scientists.

Ainissa Ramirez received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her doctorate from Stanford, both in materials science and engineering. She began her career as a scientist at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where she created award-winning inventions and received six patents. She then joined the faculty at Yale, where she rose to the ranks of an associate professor of mechanical engineering. It was also at Yale where she began her work in earnest as a STEM advocate and started her new career with a mission of making science understandable to audiences of all ages.