Penn State Schreyer Honors College Presents

2024 Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture

Ainissa Ramirez: Igniting Curiosity

Empowering Future Leaders and Global Citizens


Mon, Jan 22, 2024


7:00 pm




The Friedman Auditorium
130 W. College Ave. State College, PA


Penn State Schreyer Honors College
Penn State Schreyer Honors College

Ainissa Ramirez, Ph.D. is an award-winning scientist and science communicator. Her presentation, “Igniting Curiosity: Empowering Future Leaders and Global Citizens,” will touch on how scientific inquiry transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. She will also highlight subject matter from her book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, which details eight inventions and how they shaped the human experience. The talk will include a question-and-answer session with the audience.

Ainissa calls herself a “science evangelist” and has built a reputation as one of the world’s foremost science communicators. Her passion for getting the public excited about science drives her to speak widely on technology and science topics, including a TED talk on the importance of science education.

She speaks internationally on the importance of making science fun and has served as a science advisor to the American Film Institute, WGBH/NOVA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and several science museums. She also hosts a science podcast called Science Underground.

Ainissa’s work has earned prizes from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the American Institute of Physics.

In addition to The Alchemy of Us, Ainissa authored Save Our Science and co-authored Newton’s Football. She has written for Forbes, Time, The Atlantic, Scientific American, American Scientist, and Science and has appeared as a technology expert on national and international media, including CBS, CNN, NPR, ESPN, and PBS.

Ainissa received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and her doctorate from Stanford, both in materials science and engineering. She began her career as a scientist at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, where she created award-winning inventions and received six patents. She then joined the faculty at Yale, became an associate professor of mechanical engineering and started her work as a STEM advocate with the mission to make science understandable to audiences of all ages.

This event is free and open to the public. A free ticket is required for admission.

In case of inclement weather, visit the Schreyer Honors College website for up-to-date information.

This event is cosponsored by Presidential Leadership Academy, Schreyer Honors College Student Council, the Materials Research Institute, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Multicultural Resource Center.


The State Theatre needs your help to purchase a new Digital Projection System!

With the purchase and installation of a new projector, The State will have a new 4K, laser projection, and digital cinema sound processing system will give us the ability to screen major movie festival features, as well as independent and major studio live action and animation that is only distributed in the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) format.