SciFest Keynote Speaker: 2022


Open class with keynote speaker: TBA

Keynote speaker: March 31, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

2022 SciFest Keynote Speaker: Joe Hanson, Host of PBS’s It’s Okay To Be Smart

The Keynote is always the highlight of SciFest weekend!

“It’s Okay To Be Smart is a YouTube science education show from PBS Digital Studios. We explore the fun, creative and pure “wow” of science. We have more than 3 million YouTube subscribers and have amassed more than quarter billion views:”

Dr. Hanson is also host and co-writer of Overview, dedicated to science and nature stories, and is host and editor-in-chief of Hot Mess, a series on climate change, both on PBS Digital Studios. Dr. Hanson studied biochemistry in college, and received his PhD in cell and molecular biology from The University of Texas at Austin. See Overview on PBS Terra, and Hot Mess at

Past Keynote Speakers

  • 2021: James Kakalios (virtual)
  • 2020: James Kakalios (postponed)
  • 2019: Robert J. Lang, “From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Art and Science of Origami”
  • 2018: Nicholas Perna,” Science of the Voice”
  • 2017: Greg Kennedy, Innovative Juggler
  • 2016: Nicholas Giordano, “Physics of the Piano”
  • 2015: Rebecca Thompson, American Physical Society, “Physics of Frozen”
  • 2014: Leland Melvin, NASA astronaut
  • 2013: Don Lincoln, Fermilab and Higgs Boson scientist
  • 2012: Michael Shermer, Science writer
  • 2011: Ken Laws, physics of dance expert, and Randolph College dancers
  • 2010: Lisa Heinzerling, EPA associate administrator
  • 2009: Dr. Pete Caprice, orthopedic surgeon