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Veteran NPR science correspondent and award-winning TV journalist Ira Flatow is the host of the Science Friday radio show, a weekly call-in program that engages listeners and scientists in lively conversations about science. Ira has discussed cutting-edge science stories on a range of programs, including the four-part PBS series, Big Ideas. For six years Flatow was host and writer for the Emmy award-winning Newton's Apple on PBS, and he has been a science reporter for CBS, Westinghouse, and CNBC.

In his 35-year career, Ira has talked science on the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Merv Griffin and Oprah. He’s also the author of numerous books, most recently, Present at the Future. His recent honors include the National Science Board Public Service Award (2005), AAAS Journalism Award (2000), the Carl Sagan Award (1999), and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2010). More recently, Ira was named as the winner of the 2012 Isaac Asimov Science Award and has also received an honorary doctorate from Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College.


Carmen, a retired Senior Federal Executive with 32 years’ experience in the Intelligence Community, is a recognized national and international expert on intelligence analysis, strategic thinking, diversity of thought, and innovation and intrapreneurs in the public sector. She is the co- author of the new book: Rebels At Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within and of the landmark Deloitte University Press paper on Diversity’s New Fronter: Diversity of Thought and the Future of the Workplace. Her story as a heretic and change agent at CIA is featured in Wharton School professor Adam Grant's new bestseller Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Some of her most recent presentations include All Stars Suits and Spooks in 2015, panels at South by Southwest Interactive 2013-2016, speaking to Ontario public sector leadership about Cognitive Diversity, to Basque Innovation Day, 2014 about Innovation; consecutive presentations (2013-2015) on Diversity of Thought and Rebels at Work at GovLoop’s Next Gen Government Summit; keynote address on Sensemaking and Cognitive Diversity at Canada’s Institute for Public Administration, 2013, and speaking at IBM’s centennial anniversary in 2011.

From 2005-2007 Carmen was part of the executive team that led the CIA's Analysis Directorate; in her last assignment before retiring she oversaw the CIA's Lessons Learned program and led the Agency’s first effort to address the challenges posed by social networks, digital ubiquity, and the emerging culture of collaboration. She was a leader on diversity issues at the CIA, serving on equity boards at all organizational levels and across Directorates. She was the first CIA executive to conceptualize many IT applications now used by analysts, including online production, collaborative tools, and Intellipedia, a project she personally green-lighted; as a senior executive, she began using in 2005 social networking and blogs to reach her diverse workforce. Upon her retirement from CIA, she received the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. From 2011— 2015, Carmen was a member of Deloitte Federal Consulting where she served as senior advisor and mentor to Deloitte's flagship innovation program, GovLab.

Carmen describes herself as Puerto Rican by birth and Texan by nationality. She likes to garden and cook things that she has grown. You can follow her on Twitter @milouness and visit her two blogs: and



Dr. Karen E. Nelson is the President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and head of the Microbiome group at Human Longevity Inc., in La Jolla, CA. Prior to being appointed President, she held a number of other positions at the Institute, including Director of JCVI's Rockville Campus, and Director of Human Microbiology and Metagenomics in the Department of Human Genomic Medicine at the JCVI. Dr. Nelson received her undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies, and her Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has authored or co-authored over 160 peer reviewed publications, edited three books, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Microbial Ecology. She also serves on the Editorial Boards of BMC Genomics, GigaScience, and the Central European Journal of Biology. She is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences Board of Life Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, an Honorary Professor at the University of the West Indies and a Helmholtz International Fellow. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in microbial ecology, microbial genomics, microbial physiology and metagenomics. Dr. Nelson has led several genomic and metagenomic efforts, and led the first human metagenomics study that was published in 2006. Additional ongoing studies in her group include metagenomic approaches to study the ecology of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals, studies on the relationship between the microbiome and various human and animal disease conditions, reference genome sequencing and analysis primarily for the human body, and other -omics studies.


Dr. Edward Rogers is the Chief Knowledge Officer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Rogers joined NASA in May 2003 as the Center’s Chief Knowledge Architect, working first in the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate and then in the Office of Mission Success. He became the Chief Knowledge Officer for the Center in 2006. 

At Goddard, he has built a set of knowledge management practices that strategically support the Center’s overall mission of designing, developing and flying space missions and continuously improving space communications. He introduced the simple yet effective Pause and Learn (PaL) process, which allows project teams to reflect on their experience and improve organizational learning. He developed an internal case study methodology and used it to create Goddard-specific case studies for use in training sessions and workshops. He designed (and runs) the Goddard Road to Mission Success workshop series, which helps employees across organizational boundaries to better understand how the Center works, promotes knowledge sharing and ultimately strengthens collaboration across the Center. His programs and initiatives have also been embraced within the Agency. 

The son of a physicist, Dr. Rogers grew up in Saudi Arabia and attended boarding school in Tamil Nadu, India. In the 1980s he and his wife performed five years of international relief work in war-torn Southern Lebanon. Dr. Rogers received a B.S. in Agronomy from the Ohio State University, a Master’s in International Business from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He continues to write and speak about how to foster organizational learning and improve decision-making ability. 

Dr. Rogers is a frequent guest lecturer in MBA classes and at Federal Agencies in the Washington, DC area. Since 2009, he has been a visiting faculty member at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India, where he teaches a popular course on Managing Complexity. He has authored or co-authored a number of papers, articles and case studies. He advises senior leaders on how to shape organizations for learning and uncover thinking patterns that inhibit innovation and collaboration. In 1996, he appeared as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show. He seriously believes in having fun, and he can sometimes be found singing at office holiday parties and karaoke bars. Dr. Rogers lives happily with his wife Mary, near Annapolis, Maryland.