Evening Receptions and Dinner Speakers

We invite you to join us on Sunday and Monday, July 9 and 10, for 5:30 p.m. receptions and 6:30 p.m. dinners featuring two Rita Allen Foundation Directors who are scientists with exceptional communication skills.

Samuel WangOur Sunday dinner speaker will be Princeton University neuroscientist and 2000 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Samuel Wang. Wang has coauthored two popular books on neuroscience, and is also noted for developing statistical methods to analyze U.S. presidential election polls with unusually high accuracy. His research focuses on the cerebellum’s role in cognition and social thought processes, and he uses advanced imaging methods to search for clues to the causes of autism.

Wang will share his experiences speaking as a neuroscientist with scientific and general audiences. He will offer advice regarding how communicating appreciably helps or hinders career advancement, and also discuss how he manages national media with his work outside the lab.

Robbert DijkgraafOn Monday, our dinner speaker will be Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. He is a mathematical physicist who has made significant contributions to string theory and the advancement of science education. An advocate for science and the arts, he has written several books for general audiences and launched a science education website on the confluence of science and society.

Dijkgraaf, a native of the Netherlands who also holds a faculty appointment at the University of Amsterdam, will offer a global perspective on communicating with different audiences, especially across cultures. He will reflect on his experiences engaging non-scientists in mathematical physics and in conversations about the importance of basic research.