70th Anniversary Symposium, Feb. 6-7

To begin a year-long commemoration of NSF's 70th anniversary, and 75 years since the publication of "Science - the Endless Frontier," NSF held a two-day symposium on Feb. 6-7, 2020.


Day 1 - February 6, 2020

Day 2 - February 7th, 2020


Thursday, Feb. 6

Time Session Title Description
9:00 – 9:30 a.m.  France Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation Welcome
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.  Gregg Pascal Zachary, Vannevar Bush Biographer & Professor, Arizona State University  Presentation on Vannevar Bush’s life and the history of his famous report Science— the Endless Frontier (15-minute Q&A period) 
10:15 – 11:00 a.m.  Emily Gibson, NSF Science Policy Analyst, Historian of Science & Technology  Presentation on forthcoming NSF history book (15-minute Q&A period) 
11:00 –11:30 a.m.  Interactive History Session This panel will feature an interactive history presentation that may include video and an interactive quiz/poll session requiring audience participation. Moderated by Diane Souvaine, National Science Board (NSB) Chair & Professor, Tufts University 
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.  A Conversation with Past and Present NSF Directors 

Dr. Córdova will join past NSF Directors in a conversation about the agency’s past, present, and future.  
France Córdova (2014 – 2020) 
Former NSF Directors: 

  • Subra Suresh (2010 – 2013)  
  • Arden Bement (2004 – 2010) 
  • Rita Colwell (1998 – 2004)  
  • Neal Lane (1993 – 1998)  
  • Walter Massey (1991 – 1993)  
  • Richard Atkinson (1977 – 1980) 
2:15 – 3:45 p.m  Science Breakthroughs 

Panel featuring NSF-funded science breakthroughs from the last decade. The topics covered in this panel will feature a mix of major breakthroughs, as well as research that has led to significant impacts on society. In addition, the panelists will be a diverse set of researchers, including those earlier in their careers.  
Amy Harmon, Correspondent, New York Times  


  • Jennifer Dionne, 2019 Waterman Award recipient & Associate Professor, Stanford University  
  • Shep Doeleman, 2019 Breakthrough Prize & NSF Diamond Award recipient & Director, EHT at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics  
  • Margaret Leinen, Director, Scripps Institute & Vice Chancellor & Dean, Marine Sciences  
  • Alvin Roth, Nobel Prize in Economics 2012 & Professor of Economics, Stanford University  
  • Rainer Weiss, Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 & Professor of Physics Emeritus, MIT, Adjunct Professor, LSU 
3:45 – 4:45 p.m.  Partnerships to Address National Priorities 

Panelists will discuss the importance of forming partnerships to address national priorities, focusing on the following topics: quantum, AI, and the Future of Work. These topics tie into several the NSF 10 Big Ideas, as well as the NSB’s focus on the development of the skilled technical workforce  

Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S., White House  


  • Walter Copan, Director, NIST & Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology  
  • Paul Dabbar, Under Secretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy  
  • Suresh Garimella, President, University of Vermont & NSB Member  
  • Marcia McNutt, President, National Academy of Sciences  
  • Prem Natarajan, Vice President, Alexa AI, Amazon 
4:45 – 5:15 p.m.  Kelvin Droegemeier, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House  Dr. Droegemeier will speak on the current place of NSF and the American scientific enterprise and close with a look to the future 

Friday, Feb. 7

Time Session Title Description
9:00 – 10:00 a.m  Big Ideas Fireside Chat 

The session will feature a dynamic speaker able to discuss the concept behind the 10 Big Ideas collectively, followed by 10-15 min of a panel discussion, leaving time at the end for questions from the audience  

Arthur “Skip” Lupia, Assistant Director for SBE, NSF  


  • Vicki Chandler, Dean of Faculty, Minerva Schools at KGI & NSB Member  
  • Fleming Crim, Chief Operating Officer, NSF  
  • Sean Jones, Deputy Assistant Director, MPS, NSF  
  • Rebecca Keiser, Office Head, OISE, NSF 
10:15 – 11:15 a.m.  Industries of the Future: What will they look like? How do we prepare for them? 

Industry and business leaders will discuss the importance of scientific advancements in ensuring national economic and industrial competitiveness. They will also describe the role of NSF in their company/industry and the value of federal support for science. Finally, they will address challenges and strategies for the future.  


  • Reza Ghanadan, Senior Manager, Cloud AI Research & Strategic Technology Programs, Google  
  • Dario Gil, Director of Research, IBM Moira Gunn, Host, Tech Nation Radio & Professor, University of San Francisco  
  • Katharine Ku, Chief Licensing Advisor, Technology Transactions, Wilson Sonsini  
  • Lynne Parker, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Office of Science and Technology Policy, White House  
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO, Council on Competitiveness 
11:15 – 12:00 p.m.  National Science Board 2030 Visioning Panel 

Diane Souvaine, NSB Chair & Professor, Tufts University  


  • Roger Beachy, NSB Vision 2030 Task Force Chair &  
  • Professor Emeritus of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis 
  • Ellen Ochoa, NSB Vice Chair & Astronaut and former Director, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center