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Return to The Sights and Sounds of the NCSE 2020 Annual Conference

The NCSE conference program featured five keynote presentations, six plenary panels, 40 concurrent sessions, six workshops on science policy and science communication, 30 flash talks, and 36 posters that explored the science-policy interface through a variety of lenses.

“My favorite part about the conference was the keynote and overall discussion about bridging that gap between science, policy, and beyond. Themes of community, inclusion, and diversity were all present within sessions, keynote, and plenary presentations. Very thought provoking and inspiring.” 
- NCSE 2020 attendee

Slideshow of images from the NCSE 2020 sessions. 

Keynotes and Plenaries


NCSE 2020 featured more than 40 keynote and plenary speakers representing a broad spectrum of expertise and perspective on the role of science in environmental decision-making.

The keynotes, plenary panel discussions, armchair keynotes, and action plenaries explored a wide range of topics and provided opportunities for attendees to ask questions of respected leaders and visionaries. 

Learn more about the NCSE 2020 keynote and plenary speakers.

Lifetime Achievement Award on Science, Service, and Leadership

NCSE was honored to present the Lifetime Achievement Award on Science, Service, and Leadership to Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University, for his leadership to make the world a better place through higher education for all. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes exceptionally meritorious contributions to science and the environment.

Michael Crow, Arizona State University, receiving the award from James Buizer
Michael Crow receiving the NCSE Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured with NCSE Board Director James Buizer. Source: ASU Now

Reflections from Michael Crow. Source: Arizona State University

John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science, Policy, and the Environment

The John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science, Policy, and the Environment Lecture is an important part of every NCSE Conference. This keynote honors Senator John H. Chafee, who passed away in 1999, and celebrates his legacy of bipartisanship and his contributions that advanced major environmental legislation.

This year, in recognition of NCSE’s 30th anniversary and 20th Chafee lecture, NCSE chose to honor the longstanding and collective leadership of the U.S. federal agencies in science in environmental decision-making. The plenary panel showcased the scientific leadership of federal agencies with high-level participation, including U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Completed graphic recording done Karina Branson from ConverSketch.
Graphic recording of the Chafee Lecture by Karina Branson. 
Click image to view larger.

Concurrent Sessions and Workshops, Flash Talks, and Posters

NCSE 2020 attendees from diverse sectors presented concurrent sessions, workshops, flash talks, and posters covering a wide variety of topics. The concurrent sessions were themed into six tracks:

  • Historical Examples of Science in Decision-Making Across Scales
  • Boundary Spanning at the Science-Policy Interface
  • Risk, Resilience, and Decision-Making in the Face of Climate Change
  • Elemental Examples: Water, Fire, and Other Disasters
  • Pathways for Science-Informed Decision-Making
  • Interactions Between Environment and Human Health

Flash talks were designed to quickly engage the audience on a concept or idea and do so in a way that encourages follow up with the presenter. Each flash talk presenter had five minutes to present and two minutes of Q&A on a novel and inspiring topic. Presenters were allowed one visual slide.

“The flash talks and subsequent discussions were very enriching. They allowed for an array of topics to be explored from a diversity of speakers. The dialogue between the audience, speakers, and moderators was very productive. The moderators did a fantastic job holistically bringing together the presented topics. The audience was thoroughly engaged through this format.” 
- NCSE 2020 attendee



Return to The Sights and Sounds of the NCSE 2020 Annual Conference