The Conference on Justice and Social Concerns provides our campus community with the opportunity to engage with issues of social justice, faith, and personal and communal responsibility to the common good.

In this two-day conference, experts in both academic and practical realms will come together to lead our campus in dialogue around issues challenging our community locally and globally. This year, the School of Science, Engineering and Technology will host the conference.

STEM and Society
Perspectives from the Year 2020

Feb. 17 and 18, 2020

All events will be held in the University Center, Conference Room A unless otherwise stated.

Conference on Justice and Social Concerns: STEM and Society — Perspectives from the Year 2020

Man landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. Fifty years later and in the year 2020 (hindsight being 2020), we examine major scientific and technological advances, and their impact on our planet and lives. We also look forward at what the future holds for us. Scientific, faith, ethical and social lenses will be used to frame the presentations and panel discussions.

Conference attendance is free and open to the public. Videotaping, photography or audio recording is not allowed in the sessions featuring Pitts and Ramirez. 

Monday, Feb. 17

9:20 to 10:10 a.m., Opening Plenary
NEXT: Imagination, Innovation, Discovery*

  • Moderated by Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., Dean and Professor of Industrial Engineering, St. Mary’s University
  • Featuring speaker Derrick H. Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director, Franklin Institute Science Museum

10:20 to 11:10 a.m., Blending STEM, the Arts and Human Values to Drive Innovation
A Perspective from the Drone and Space Industry

11:20 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., How Nitrogen Fixation can Help Eradicate Extreme Hunger

  • Moderated by Javier Rubio-Herrero, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, St. Mary’s University
  • Featuring speaker Luis Manuel Rubio-Herrero, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Technical University of Madrid, and Deputy Director, Center for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology

12:30 to 2 p.m., Lunar Caves Analog Test Sites (LCATS) and WEX Student Poster Presentations

  • Organized and moderated by Carol Redfield, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Computer Science, St. Mary’s University

6 p.m., Evening Fireside Chat
What is on the Forefront of Innovation in Silicon Valley and Beyond?

Tuesday, Feb. 18

9:45 a.m., Water and San Antonio

11:10 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., Cybersecurity in the New Decade
Is Your Personal Data Seeing More of the World Than you Are?

  • Moderated by Curtis White, Vice President for Information Services, St. Mary’s University
  • Panelists: Brian Stuhl, Detective, San Antonio Police Department; Jon Ford, Director of Global Strategy and Operations for Government Solutions, FireEye; Janie Martinez Gonzalez, CEO, Webhead; and Ayad Barsoum, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science and Graduate Program Director of Cybersecurity and the Certificate in Cybersecurity, St. Mary’s University

12:35 to 1:50 p.m., Big Data: For Good or For Evil (or Both)?

7 p.m., Lin Great Speakers Series Keynote Presentation
How Technology Transforms Us*

*Videotaping, photography or audio recording is not allowed in this session.

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