Who We Are

Founders & Staff · Board of Directors · Advisors


  • Alan Alda
    Actor, Author, Director

    Alan Alda, a six-time Emmy Award–winner, played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series, M*A*S*H, and appeared in continuing roles on ER, The West Wing, and 30 Rock. His long-time interest in science and in promoting a greater public understanding of science led to his hosting the award-winning PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years, on which he interviewed hundreds of scientists from around the world.
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  • David Baltimore
    Biologist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    After serving as President of Caltech for nine years, David Baltimore was appointed President Emeritus and the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology in 2006. Awarded the Nobel Prize at the age of 37 for research in virology, Baltimore has influenced national science policy on such issues as recombinant DNA research and the AIDS epidemic. He is a researcher, educator, administrator and public advocate for science and engineering and is considered one of the world’s most influential biologists.
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  • John Barrow
    Mathematician and Physicist

    John Barrow is a research professor of mathematical sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in England. He is also the author of nearly twenty books for a general audience, including The Book of Nothing, and is the director of the Millennium Mathematics Project, a mathematics education initiative.
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  • Günter Blobel
    Biologist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    Günter Blobel is the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Professor at Rockefeller University in New York City and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland. For his research into the mechanisms by which proteins find their way around the inside of a cell, he received the 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
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  • David Bodanis

    David Bodanis is known to a wide audience as an author of popular science books such as the highly acclaimed E=mc²: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation and Electric Universe, which won the 2006 Royal Society Aventis Prize for Science Books.
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  • John Seely Brown
    Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication, University of Southern California

    John Seely Brown is a senior fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Part scientist, part artist, and part strategist, he is an expert on organizational studies, and serves on the WSF Strategic Advisory Board for Digital Learning and Outreach.
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  • Bill Bryson
    Chancellor of Durham University and Author

    Bill Bryson is a best-selling writer of 17 books (and counting) on travel, science, and the English language, and the current chancellor of Durham University in northern England. He is a winner of the 2004 Royal Society Aventis Prize for Science Books and the European Commission's 2004 Descartes Prize for Science Communication.
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  • Ralph Cicerone
    President of the National Academy of Sciences and Atmospheric Scientist

    Ralph J. Cicerone is President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council. His work on atmospheric chemistry, climate change and energy has involved him in shaping science and environmental policy at the highest levels, nationally and internationally.
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  • Paul Davies
    Cosmologist, Astrobiologist, and Author

    Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and best-selling author. He is Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he is Director of Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, co-director of the Cosmology Initiative and principal investigator of the Center for the Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology.
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  • Richard Dawkins
    English Ethologist, Evolutionary Biologist, and Author

    Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist and author, who is known for his popularization of Darwinian ideas as well as for original thinking on evolutionary theory. The Selfish Gene is both the title of his groundbreaking first best seller and his most popular thesis.
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  • Daniel Dennett
    Philosopher and Author

    Daniel Dennett is a philosopher who studies mind and consciousness through the lens of evolutionary biology and cognitive science. Author of several bestselling books including Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Consciousness Explained, he is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.
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  • Freeman Dyson
    Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, and Author

    Freeman Dyson, born and raised in England, excelled in all subjects from a very young age, going on to specialize in mathematics and theoretical physics in his studies at the University of Cambridge. Moving to the United States in 1947, he continued his research first at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and then at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, New Jersey.
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  • Sylvia Earle
    Oceanographer, Marine Biologist, and Author

    National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer who has been called a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress and "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine.
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  • Timothy Ferris

    Timothy Ferris is the author of a dozen books (most recently The Science of Liberty), plus 200 articles and essays, and three documentary films—"The Creation of the Universe," “Life Beyond Earth,” and “Seeing in the Dark”—seen by over 20 million viewers. Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, an artifact of human civilization containing music and sounds of Earth launched aboard the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft.
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  • Peter Galison
    Science Historian

    Peter Galison is a leading historian of science whose research explores the interaction of experimentation, instrumentation and theory in physics. An author, film producer and MacArthur Award-winner, he is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.
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  • Jim Gates

    Sylvester James (Jim) Gates, Jr. is currently the John S. Toll Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland-College Park. In spring of 2009 he was appointed to serve on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Maryland State Board of Education.
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  • Susan Greenfield
    Neuroscientist and Author

    Susan Greenfield is the Fullerian Professor of Physiology at Oxford University in England, the director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in London, and a member of the Upper House of the British parliament. The focus of her research is on biochemical and electrical processes taking place in the human brain and their role in neurological disorders.
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  • Paul Greengard
    Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    Paul Greengard is the Vincent Astor Professor, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at Rockefeller University in New York City.
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  • David Gross
    Particle Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    David Gross is the Frederick W. Gluck Professor of Theoretical Physics and Director of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UCSB. Gross is a central figure completion of the Standard Model, which details how the three basic forces of particle physics--the electromagnetic force, the weak force, and the strong force--interact.
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  • Heidi Hammel
    Astronomer and Executive Vice President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

    Heidi Hammel is a noted planetary scientist. Currently, she is senior research scientist and codirector of research at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
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  • Dudley Herschbach
    Chemist, Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

    Dudley Herschbach is the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a professor of physics at Texas A&M University in College Station. For his work on the dynamics of chemical reactions, he was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
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  • Roald Hoffmann
    Chemist, Poet, Playwright, and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

    Roald Hoffmann is a professor of chemistry and the Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. An internationally respected researcher, he is also a committed teacher and proud to have taught the first-year chemistry course almost without interruption for his entire academic career. He is a graduate of both Columbia and Harvard Universities.
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  • Shirley Ann Jackson
    Physicist and President of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

    Shirley Ann Jackson is President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She served as Chairman of the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission under the Clinton Administration and presently sits on President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
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  • Mae Jemison
    Astronaut, Physician, and Founder of the Jemison Group

    Mae Jemison is a scientist, physician, astronaut, and educator. In 1992, she became the first woman astronaut of color when she flew aboard the space shuttle Endeavour as a science mission specialist. She is the founder of the Jemison Group, the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, and the BioSentient Corporation.
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  • Michio Kaku
    Theoretical Physicist

    Michio Kaku is one of the founders of string field theory, a field of research within string theory. He’s also the host of Sci Fi Science, the top-rated new series on the Science Channel, which is based on his New York Times best-selling book Physics of the Impossible.
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  • Eric Kandel
    Neuropsychiatrist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    Eric Kandel is Kavli Professor and University Professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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  • Mary-Claire King
    Human Geneticist, Humanitarian

    Mary-Claire King, PhD, is American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She was the first to show that breast cancer is inherited in some families, as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1.
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  • Lawrence M. Krauss
    Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, and Author

    Internationally known theoretical physicist and best-selling author Lawrence Krauss has focused his research on the intersection of cosmology and elementary particle physics. Dr. Krauss’s work addresses questions about the origin of matter in the universe.
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  • Eric Lander
    Biologist, Mathematician, and Geneticist

    Eric Lander was one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project, which from 1990-2003 mapped the human genetic code. He has pioneered the application of genomics to the understanding human disease.
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  • Leon Lederman
    Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    Leon Lederman is the Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, and Pritzker Professor of Science at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago; for his contributions to neutrino physics, he shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics.
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  • Walter Lewin
    Astrophysicist and Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Walter Lewin is a professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, where he is a member of the X-ray Astronomy Group. He is a graduate of the University of Delft in the Netherlands.
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  • Alan Lightman
    Astrophysicist and Author

    Alan Lightman is a writer, astrophysicist, and educator. He currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as an author of fiction and nonfiction books; he is also an adjunct professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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  • Thomas Lovejoy
    Conservation Biologist

    Thomas Lovejoy holds the Biodiversity Chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment based in Washington, DC, and is a recipient of the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award.
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  • Rob Morrow
    Emmy and Golden Globe Nominated Actor, Writer, and Director

    Rob Morrow is an actor, writer, and restaurant owner who is best known for his portrayal of Joel Fleishman in the hit TV series Northern Exposure. In the course of his career, he has been nominated multiple times for Golden Globe and Emmy Awards; he was most recently seen in the Rob Reiner film The Bucket List starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and is currently starring in the television show Numb3rs as FBI Special Agent Don Eppes.
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  • Sir Paul Nurse
    Geneticist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    Paul Nurse is a Nobel Laureate and the President of Rockefeller University, where he continues to do research in cell biology. He is the former Chief Executive of Cancer Research, UK. In 1999 he was knighted in Great Britain for his contributions to cancer research.
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  • William Phillips
    Physicist and Nobel Laureate in in Physics

    Nobel Prize-winning physicist William Phillips is a professor at the University of Maryland and leads the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
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  • Steven Pinker
    Psychologist, Linguist, and Author

    Steven Pinker is the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is widely known for both his writings in publications such as The New York Times, Time, and The New Republic, and for his seven books, which include the two Pulitzer Prize finalists How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate.
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  • Vilayanur Ramachandran

    V.S. Ramachandran investigates the nature of self and human consciousness. His work spans the causes and effects of synesthesia and phantom limb pain to questions about visual perception and the brain. He is Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego.
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  • Lisa Randall
    Theoretical Physicist and Author

    Lisa Randall is a professor of physics at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her research focuses on models that extend standard particle physics, notably by including extra dimensions of space.
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  • Martin Rees
    Cosmologist and Astrophysicist

    Martin Rees is the president of the Royal Society and the British Astronomer Royal. He is both Master and a professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge’s Trinity College. He is also a member of the upper house of the British parliament.
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  • Diana Rhoten
    Senior Vice President, News Corporation

    Diana Rhoten is currently the Senior Vice President of Strategy in the News Corp Education Division. She has published in numerous journals and has co-edited a volume on the future of higher education called Knowledge Matters. She earned a Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Educational Policy and an M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University, as well as an M.Ed. from Harvard University and an A.B. from Brown University.
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  • Matt Ridley
    Journalist and Author

    Matt Ridley is an English science communicator. Educated at Oxford University, where he received a doctorate in zoology, he embarked upon a career as a science writer, serving as science editor for The Economist from 1984 to 1987.
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  • Vera Rubin

    Vera C. Rubin is an observational astronomer who has studied the motions of gas and stars in galaxies and motions of galaxies in the universe for 75 percent of her life. Her work was influential in discovering that most of the matter in the universe is dark — it does not emit or absorb any light, and it does not interact with ordinary matter (which is made of atoms) except via gravity.
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  • Jeffrey Sachs
    Economist and Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University

    Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, a professor of Health Policy and Management, and the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York City. He is the president and cofounder of the Millennium Promise Alliance, an initiative to end extreme poverty by the year 2025.
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  • Oliver Sacks
    Neurologist, Author

    Oliver Sacks, a physician and author, has been called “the poet laureate of medicine" by The New York Times. His books and essays, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, are used in schools and universities around the world.
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  • James Schamus
    CEO of Focus Features

    James Schamus is CEO of Focus Features, and an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts in New York City, where he teaches film history and theory.
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  • Robert Shaye
    Film Producer, Director, and Founder of New Line Cinema

    Robert Shaye is a businessman, film producer, and director. He is also the founder of New Line Cinema, an independent motion picture production and distribution company that, following an early success with the classic horror movie A Nightmare on Elm Street, went on to back numerous highly successful films, including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Se7en, About Schmidt, and Hairspray.
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  • Anna Deavere Smith
    Actress, Playwright

    Anna Deavere Smith has been hailed by Newsweek as “the most exciting individual in American theater.” She began interviewing people across the country 20 years ago. Without props, sets, or costumes, she translates those encounters into profound performances, each drawing verbatim from the original recorded interview.
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  • Lee Smolin
    Theoretical Physicist

    Lee Smolin is a founding member and research physicist at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, an adjunct professor of physics at the University of Waterloo, and a cofounder of loop quantum gravity, a theory that attempts to unify quantum physics and Einstein's theory of general relativity.
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  • Horst Stormer
    Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    Horst Stormer is the Isidor Isaac Rabi Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Columbia University in New York City and an expert in condensed-matter physics.
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  • Jakob Trollbäck
    Designer and Creative Director of Trollbäck + Company

    Jakob Trollbäck creates pieces that transport his audience to planes of sensorial experience. He is an acknowledged industry leader in both branding and motion graphic design.
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  • Michael Turner
    Theoretical Astrophysicist and Cosmologist

    Michael Turner is the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is a theoretical cosmologist who coined the term, “dark energy.” He has made seminal contributions to the understanding of inflationary cosmology, particle dark matter, and the theory of the Big Bang.
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  • Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He is the author of several books and hosts the NOVA ScienceNow program on PBS.
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  • James Watson
    Molecular Biologist, Geneticist, and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    James D. Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1928 and educated at the University of Chicago. In 1953, while at Cambridge University, he and Francis Crick successfully proposed the double helical structure for DNA. They, together with Maurice Wilkins, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
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  • Steven Weinberg
    Theoretical Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    Steven Weinberg is a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. His honors include the Nobel Prize in Physics and National Medal of Science, election to numerous academies, and sixteen honorary doctoral degrees. In 2004 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, with a citation that said he is "considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today."
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  • Jonathan Weiner

    Jonathan Weiner's books have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and many other honors.
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  • Carl Wieman
    Physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    Carl Wieman was a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Presidential Teaching Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1984 to 2006 and still retains a part-time appointment at that institution as Director of the Colorado Science Education Initiative.
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  • Torsten Wiesel
    Neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

    Torsten Wiesel is the Vincent and Brooke Astor Professor Emeritus and President Emeritus at Rockefeller University in New York City. For his work on the neurological basis of vision, he was a recipient of the 1981 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
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  • Frank Wilczek
    Theoretical Physicist, Mathematician, and Nobel Laureate in Physics

    Professor Frank Wilczek is considered one of the world's eminent theoretical physicists. In 2004, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction—key to several major problems in particle physics and beyond.
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  • Edward O. Wilson
    Evolutionary Biologist and Author

    E.O. Wilson is a life-long explorer of the natural world whose pioneering studies of ants have led to revolutionary insights across a wide range of fields, from evolution to animal and human behavior.
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  • Damian Woetzel
    Director and Producer

    Damian Woetzel is a former Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet who has moved into directing and producing. He also works with Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Connect Program in the New York City Public Schools.
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  • Shing-Tung Yau

    Shing-Tung Yau is the William Casper Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University. For his extensive work in differential geometry, the study of mathematical generalizations of curved surfaces, he was the recipient of the 1982 Fields Medal.
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  • Michael York
    Actor, Author

    After graduation from Oxford in 1964, Michael York joined the National Theatre company, making his film debut in The Taming of the Shrew. His more than 60 other screen credits include Romeo and Juliet, Cabaret, Jesus of Nazareth, The Three Musketeers, Logan’s Run, Murder on the Orient Express, Conduct Unbecoming, The Omega Code and all three Austin Powers movies.
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