Conferences & Events

Descriptions of various conferences and other events I have contributed to over the years.

2016

14 December, San Diego
Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting. I'm not attending, but I am co-author on a talk given by Tony Barrett, "Technology forecasting for analyzing future global catastrophic risks".

3 December, Princeton
Envision Conference. I lead a workshop "Future technology extreme risks and benefits", covering social and policy aspects of technology for an event aimed at undergraduate students and early-career workers in technology fields.

19 November, Brooklyn
Nerd Nite NYC. I gave a talk "Killer waves: Where to surf during nuclear war", a humorous exposition on the hydrodynamics of underwater nuclear explosions.

9 November, New York City
YHouse YCafé Consciousness Club. I gave a talk "Global catastrophe and the future of consciousness", discussing my recent Scientific American piece on computerized brains and related topics.

18 October, Brooklyn
Story Collider pre-Halloween event with a "fear" theme. I talked about my experience with the winter-safe deterrence debate.

14 March, New York City
I spoke in a panel discussion "What’s the Big Idea?" along with Konstantinos Karachalios of IEEE, hosted at the Soho House. We discussed the societal implications of AI and other current and future technologies.

2015

6-10 December, Arlington, VA
Society for Risk Analysis 2015 Annual Meeting. Tony Barrett and I hosted two symposia on global catastrophic risk and related topics, 10 total talks. I chaired the symposium "Global Catastrophic Risks" and gave a talk "Risk and policy analysis of nuclear war". I'm also second author on Barrett's talk "Analyzing long term risks of artificial intelligence catastrophe".

20 November, New York City
World Technology Summit and Awards. I spoke in a panel discussion The World in 2025, 2035, and 2045 moderated by James Hughes and with other panelists Melanie Swan and David Biello.

27 June, Boston
I spoke at the event Poles Apart, Melting Together: Science & the Humanities Confront the Anthropocene hosted by Boston University Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning. My talk was titled “Transdisciplinary synthesis in global catastrophic risk research”.

27 April-22 May 2015, New York City
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. I will speak in a 6 May session "Catastrophic global risks, nuclear weapons, and human survival" hosted by People for Nuclear Disarmament. My talk was titled "How bad could it get? Risk analysis of nuclear winter".

10 April 2015, Brooklyn
I gave a talk "Please hold your farts until after the nuclear war" at Nerd Nite NYC, at Littlefield bar in Gowanus, Brooklyn. The talk gave a humorous introduction to global catastrophic risk. I presented analysis of how much each of our farts contributes to global warming (I got about 10^-21 deg C) and how many farts it would take to offset nuclear winter (I got about 47 million per person per year, or 47 mega-fart-years per person).

3 March 2013, online. I did in an interactive "Ask Me Anything" conversation the Effective Altruism Forum website, 7-9pm US ET. See also the announcements at Effective Altruism Forum and LessWrong.

1 March 2015, New York City
I spoke in a panel discussion The Future of Life on Earth with Jeffrey Sachs and Max Tegmark at the 92nd Street Y as part of their 7 Days of Genius festival. See the event audio.

28 February-1 March, New York City
The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction, hosted by the Helen Caldicott Foundation. I gave a talk "The catastrophic risk of nuclear war". See the conference video.

2014

8-9 December 2014, Vienna
Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. I gave a talk "What is the risk of nuclear war?" See the talk text (pdf), slides (pdf), and video (YouTube, beginning at 49:40). The talk is also featured on the Society for Risk Analysis website in SRA Member Addresses Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.

13 October 2014, Oxford
The Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University hosted me for a seminar "Deterrence theory and global catastrophic risk reduction".

9 October 2014, Oxford
The Global Challenges Foundation sponsored a workshop "Risk Estimates for Global Challenges: Nuclear War", hosted by the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. I gave a talk "Nuclear war risk: Prior estimations and methodology" as part of the discussions.

14 June 2014, Piedmont, CA
Global Existential Risks & Radical Futures, hosted by Brighter Brains. I gave the keynote talk, titled "Navigating the high-stakes turbulence to our future", based on my research on global catastrophic risk.

28 April-9 May 2014, New York City
United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. I spoke in a session "Accidental apocalypse: Probabilistic approaches to accidental nuclear war and human survival", hosted by People for Nuclear Disarmament. I presented my recent paper Analyzing and reducing the risks of inadvertent nuclear war between the United States and Russia. The talk was titled "The risk of inadvertent nuclear war between the United States and Russia".

15 April 2014, New York City
The United States Mission to the United Nations hosted me for a presentation to a group of experts from the United Nations Security Council "P5" Permanent Members (China, France, Russia, UK, USA). My talk "Nuclear winter and the search for safer deterrence" covered new research in progress.

24 March 2014, Tokyo
The Futurability Initiatives International Symposium 2014: What humanity in nature ought to be? (Japanese version), hosted by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature. My talk, "The convergence of anthropocentric and ecocentric values towards global catastrophic risk reduction", relates themes in environmental ethics and global catastrophic risk.

17 March 2014, Stockholm
Emerging technologies and the future of humanity, hosted by the Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences). My talk, "The great downside dilemma for risky emerging technologies", was loosely based on themes in my recent paper Double catastrophe: Intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse.

2013

8-11 December 2013, Baltimore
Society for Risk Analysis 2013 Annual Meeting. Tony Barrett and I hosted two symposia on global catastrophic risk, 10 total talks. I chaired the symposium "Global Risk Governance" and gave a talk "The resilience of human civilization in the face of global catastrophes", the latter based largely on my paper Adaptation to and recovery from global catastrophe.

11-15 November 2013, online
Climate-Friendly Climate Research Conference, hosted by Klimaforschungsnetzwerk Österreich/Climate Change Centre Austria. I gave a talk "Building an international think tank with remote collaboration", describing my experience with the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, in particular its online lectures and discussion groups.

10-13 October 2013, Rochester, NY
University of Rochester Meliora Weekend. I spoke in an event "Career Panels and Networking Reception", sharing my experience going from an engineering undergraduate at UR to Executive Director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute.

1 October 2013, New York City
The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University invited Ines Garcia and me to speak at their weekly meeting. Our talk "Small World premier: Art-science collaboration for fictional narrative outreach videos" described our project Osomocene Productions and presented our new video Small World.

24-26 June 2013, Washington, DC
The American Geophysical Union Science Policy Conference. I was invited to moderate a session Potential for megadisasters. The speakers were Lindley Johnson, Lucile Jones, Lawrence Zanetti, and Eddie Bernard.

20-21 April 2013, Brooklyn
7th Annual International Conference on Ethical Issues In Biomedical Engineering. I gave a talk, co-authored with Grant Wilson, titled The ethics of global catastrophic risk from dual-use bioengineering. The link is to the paper we published in the conference proceedings.

3 April 2013, Rochester, NY
University of Rochester Career Center Food for Thought Series. I gave a talk (via Skype) about my career trajectory since being an undergrad at UR.

1 March 2013, New York City
NoPassport theater conference at New York University. Ines Garcia and I discussed Osomocene Productions as part of a panel discussion on art-science collaborations, hosted by our friends at Positive Feedback. The panel was titled "Better than barter: Artists and scientists redefine collaboration, mentorship and community". Here is the video archive (skip to 4:40).

2012

9-12 2012 December, San Francisco
Society for Risk Analysis 2012 Annual Meeting. I chaired a symposium "Technocracy and democracy in risk governance" and gave a talk "Voice and democraticity in electoral and technocratic environmental decision procedures". The talk was loosely based on my paper Description, prescription and the choice of discount rates.

18-20 July 2012, Sydney
Society for Risk Analysis 2012 World Congress on Risk. I chaired a symposium "Global Catastrophic Risk" with 5 talks. I also gave a talk "Transdisciplinarity and transprofessionalism for global catastrophic risk" in a symposium chaired by Itsuki Handoh of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature.

27 June 2012, Kyoto
The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature invited me to speak at their Futurability Seminar Series as part of a two-week visit at RIHN. My talk "Global catastrophic risk reduction as a civilization priority" presented an overview of the ethics of global catastrophic risk and some of the major risks.

16-20 April 2012, Atlanta
Astrobiology Science Conference 2012. Jacob Haqq-Misra, Michael Busch, Sanjoy Som, and I presented a poster "The benefits and harms of transmitting into space" based on our paper with the same title. I was unable to attend; the poster was presented by Jacob Haqq-Misra.

2 March 2012, New York City
Nature, Ecology, and Society Colloquium, City University of New York. Ines Garcia and I gave a talk "Arts-academia collaborations for inspirational environmental comedy", describing our work with Osomocene Productions and showing our video Vegetarian Cookbook.

24-28 February 2012, New York City
Association of American Geographers 2012 Annual Meeting. Kaitlin Butler, Peter Howe and I gave a talk "Perceptions of mitigation behaviors: Is food choice overlooked?", based on our work on public perceptions of behaviors that can mitigate climate change, i.e. reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I also participated in a panel "Climate change literacy", moderated by Dan Bedford, Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, and John Harrington, and with panelists Anthony Leiserowitz, Gavin Schmidt, Bruce Moravchik, and Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux.

2011

4-7 December 2011, Charleston, South Carolina
Society for Risk Analysis 2011 Annual Meeting. Tony Barrett and I hosted two symposia on global catastrophic risk, 9 total talks. I chaired the symposium "Catastrophic climate change" and gave a talk "Communicating the importance of global catastrophic risk".

30 November-2 December 2011, Washington, DC
Behavior, Energy and Climate Change 2011 Conference. Kaitlin Butler, Peter Howe, and I presented a poster "Perceptions of mitigation behaviors: Is food choice overlooked?", based on our work on public perceptions of behaviors that can mitigate climate change, i.e. reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

12-16 April 2011, Seattle
Association of American Geographers 2011 Annual Meeting. I gave a talk "Democracy, technocracy and climate change mitigation policy". The talk was loosely based on my paper Description, prescription and the choice of discount rates.

10-11 March 2011, New York City
Nature, Ecology, and Society Colloquium, City University of New York. I chaired a session "Happenings at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions", which included talks by Sabine Marx, Lisa Zaval, and myself; I discussed moral philosophy and moral psychology in climate change economics. I also gave a talk "A new cultural outlook on climate change", looking at cultural factors in addressing climate change as a global catastrophic risk.

2010

5-8 December 2010, Salt Lake City
Society for Risk Analysis 2010 Annual Meeting. Vanessa Schweizer and I hosted two symposia on global catastrophic risk, 8 total talks. I chaired the symposium "Methodologies for global catastrophic risk assessment" and gave a talk "Space-time discounting, global catastrophic risk, and climate change economics".

22-23 October 2010, West Point, NY.
Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers 2010 Annual Meeting. I gave a talk "The moral psychology of environmental conflict" and also participated in the Penn State Geography Bowl team, which one the Middle States competition. (We lost at the national meeting.)

23 September 2010, New York City
The Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University invited me to speak at their weekly meeting. My talk "Space-time discounting for climate change policy" covered research I was working on for my Ph.D. dissertation Discounting Across Space and Time in Climate Change Assessment.

27-29 June 2010, Cambridge, UK
Technology Management and Policy Graduate Consortium 2010 Meeting. I gave a talk "Space-time discounting for climate change policy", based on my Ph.D. dissertation Discounting Across Space and Time in Climate Change Assessment. The talk was one of two to win their Best Presentation Award.

22-25 May 2010, State College, PA
Worldwide Universities Network: Adapting to Climate Change. I presented a poster "Space-time discounting in climate change adaptation" based on a paper of the same title.

14-18 April 2010, Washington, DC
Association of American Geographers 2010 Annual Meeting. Destiny Aman, Andrei Israel, and I gave a talk "Promoting civic engagement through student projects in introductory environmental geography courses" based on our paper Public scholarship student projects for introductory environmental courses.

20-21 March 2010, State College, PA
no)Boundaries 2010 Graduate Student Conference, organized by graduate students of the Penn State Department of Geography. I chaired a session "Incorporating public scholarship into an academic career", with speakers Jessica Arends, Jessica Bagdonis, Elizabeth Crisfield, and myself.

17 March 2010, State College, PA
The Earth System Science Center at Penn State University invited me to speak at their Brown Bag Seminar Series. My talk "Climate economics since the Stern Review" gave an overview of recent themes in climate economics, with some attention to my dissertation research on space-time discounting.

2009

6-9 December 2009, Baltimore
Society for Risk Analysis 2009 Annual Meeting. I gave a talk "Artificial intelligence and risk: What should we believe?", presenting research in my paper How long until human-level AI? Results from an expert assessment.

31 May-3 June 2009, Washington, DC.
United States Society for Ecological Economics Fifth Biennial Conference". I hosted a session "Using integrated assessment modeling in climate change mitigation policy", with 5 talks, by Frank Ackerman, Ines Lima Azevedo, Ines Lima Azevedo, Richard Howarth, and Emily McKenzie. My talk "Discounting and beyond: Interpreting the ethics in climate change economics" covered research published in my paper Description, prescription and the choice of discount rates.

22-27 April 2009, Las Vegas
Association of American Geographers 2009 Annual Meeting. I chaired a session "Young scholar perspectives on human dimensions of global change research: Advancing the role of research in environmental decision making" as part of a series of sessions hosted by fellows of the Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship program. I gave a talk "Integrating ethics into human dimensions of global change research".

6-9 March 2009, Arlington, VA
Second Conference on Artificial General Intelligence. I gave a brief talk "An expert elicitation survey on artificial general intelligence" while distributing the survey, which became the paper How long until human-level AI? Results from an expert assessment.

28 February-1 March 2009, State College, PA
no)Boundaries 2010 Graduate Student Conference, organized by graduate students of the Penn State Department of Geography. I gave a talk "Ethics, geopolitics, and catastrophic climate change". Ideas in the talk were published quite a while later in the paper Double catastrophe: Intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse.

2008

7-10 December 2008, Boston
Society for Risk Analysis 2008 Annual Meeting. I gave a talk "Catastrophic climate change scenarios", presenting some early ideas about climate change as a global catastrophic risk.

19-22 May 2008, Pittsburgh
Annual Meeting and Student Workshop of the Climate Decision Making Center at the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Engineering and Public Policy. I gave a talk "An expanded approach to discounting: Theory and psychology" based on research for my Ph.D. dissertation Discounting Across Space and Time in Climate Change Assessment. In addition, Vanessa Schweizer and I gave a talk "Efforts at general public education: Where does the science end and advocacy start?" based on our experiences with Focus the Nation - see Penn State Focus the Nation. Finally, I presented a poster "Welfare discounting: Ethics and implications", which presented my early research about discounting.

15-19 April 2008, Boston
Association of American Geographers 2008 Annual Meeting. I gave a talk "Discounting explained and refined", which presented my early research about discounting.

27-30 March 2008, Boston
National Science Teachers Association 2008 National Conference. I gave two presentations based on my experience in the Northeastern University GK-12 Program. The first, with physics teacher Steve Fernandez, was titled "Exploring connections between science and society through nuclear physics". The second, with Angelica Torres, Charity Cochran-Murphy, and David Romeo, was titled "Meaningful K12-university partnerships: Insights from GK12 programs". For more information, see my teaching page.

31 January 2008, State College, PA
Penn State Focus the Nation. I was the lead organizer of the event, with 18 speakers across a full day of programming about climate change.

2007

3-15 December 2007, Bali, Indonesia
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 13th Conference of Parties. I prepared a talk "Putting Ramsey model-based climate change assessments in perspective". I was unable to attend, so it was presented on my behalf by the Rock Ethics Institute. The talk was based on my paper Beyond the Ramsey model for climate change assessments.

23-27 June 2007, New York City
United States Society for Ecological Economics Fourth Biennial Conference. I presented a poster "Utilitarianism: A transdisciplinary approach", which presented some of my early research and thinking about utilitarianism.

19-20 April 2007, Boston
Year 7 National Science Foundation Site Visit of the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Claire Duggan and I presented a poster "Reflections on education outreach" based on our various K-12 outreach projects. Michael Silevitch, Claire Duggan, Ann McDonald, Jay Laird and I presented a poster "ROVERS: Remote Operated Volatile Explosives Retrieval Systems: An educational game collaboration between the Bernard M. Gordon Center for SubSurface Imaging Systems, the Northeastern University Multimedia Studies Program, and Metaversal Studios, Inc.". The ROVERS game was a prototype and was never launched.

9-11 March 2007, Washington, DC
National Science Foundation GK-12 Program Annual Conference. I designed a poster "Northeastern University: Experience, believe, achieve" to be presented by a group from the Northeastern University GK-12 Program: Michael Byrne, Emily Hart, Jason Kessel, Marielle Postavia-Davignon, Nicholas Yang, Claire Duggan Thomas Gilbert, and myself. I was unable to attend the conference.

2006

4 October 2006, Boston
2006 Research and Industrial Collaboration Conference of the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Carey Rappaport and I presented a poster "Introducing the NUFDTD software package", based on my Masters thesis - see NUFDTD.

4-6 April 2006, Boston
Year 6 National Science Foundation Site Visit of the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. I presented a poster "Modeling ground penetrating radar while teaching high school science" covering my Masters thesis research and K-12 teaching.

March 2006, Washington, DC
National Science Foundation GK-12 Program Annual Conference. I presented a poster "Northeastern University: Experience, believe, achieve" with Lara Jabr, Anna Myers, Marielle Postavia-Davignon, Jay Rushford, Claire Duggan and Thomas Gilbert.

2005

6-7 October 2005, Boston
2005 Research and Industrial Collaboration Conference of the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. I presented a poster "Developing FDTD code while teaching high school science" with high school students Stephen Wong and Dan Mahr; professor Carey Rappaport; K-12 outreach coordinator Claire Duggan; and high school teacher Grady McClinton. The poster won the Best Poster Award in the Education and Outreach Program Category. I also presented a poster "Subsurface imaging-themed computer games and machine activities" with Jay Laird, Sam Christy, Michael Silevitch, Claire Duggan, and Ann McDonald.

7-8 April 2005, Boston
Year 5 National Science Foundation Site Visit of the Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. I presented a poster "Modeling ground penetrating radar while teaching high school science" with high school students Robin Canale, Ryda Chea, and Jiaan Hyland-Babaie; professor Carey Rappaport; K-12 outreach coordinator Claire Duggan; and high school teacher Paul Muller.

Created 2 Jun 2014 * Updated 12 Dec 2016