Dr. Moira Gunn

Dr. Moira Gunn

Access Keynote Video

Monday, Oct. 20, 1:45-2:45 p.m., Grand Ballroom

After becoming the first woman to earn a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue, Dr. Moira Gunn gained valuable hands–on experience as a NASA computer scientist and engineer. Today, she is best known as the host of NPR’s nationally–syndicated "Tech Nation" and "BioTech Nation" radio programs, where she relates the impact and challenges of science and technology to audiences around the world. Gunn created "Tech Nation" in 1993, a time when she could readily see the rise of personal tech, and went on to create "BioTech Nation" in 2004, when DNA, genetically–modified food, and bioenergy moved into national focus.

More than simply radio, the family of Tech Nation programs seeks to educate the public on the issues of science and technology. They demonstrate that all aspects of our lives are affected, and to make reasonable decisions, we must understand much, much more – as individuals, as communities, as nations and as a global society.

Dr. Gunn is not so much interested in the opinions of the day — she is more interested in how people come to form these opinions, especially when a comprehension of the underlying technology and science is essential. Her guests come from every walk of life: politicians and businesspeople, scientists and futurists, novelists and educators, members of the media and more. In her words: "Everyone is essential. Everyone is a piece of the puzzle."

In over 2,000 in–depth interviews, Dr. Gunn has engaged with recognizable people from every venue: From business leaders like Intel’s Andy Grove to emergent tech guru’s like Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin, from the old guard of science such as Linus Pauling and Crick and Watson to our new generation of scientists like David Haussler and Jay Keasling.