Night of Ideas



Patrick Apiou


Patrick Apiou is a Philosophy Teacher at the International School of Boston. He received his Master Degree in Philosophy from the University of Nantes (France) in 1990, and his Master Degree in History from the University Paris Sorbonne (France) in 2001. He is a certified history-geography teacher in France, with over 25 years of teaching experience in both France and the USA.


Erin Baker

Professor and Faculty Director

Erin Baker is the Chair of Faculty Diversity at the College of Engineering, and Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at University of Massachusetts.She her Ph.D. in Engineering Stanford University.

Erin is the Director of the Wind Energy Fellows, and the Faculty Director of the Energy Transition Institute. She is an Associate Editor at IISE Transactions and Decision Analysis. Her research is in decision making under uncertainty applied to the field of energy and the environment, with focus on energy justice and publicly-funded energy technology Research and Development portfolios in the face of climate change.


Julie Battilana


Julie Battilana is Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is also the founder of the Social Innovation and Change Initiative. Her research examines the processes by which organizations and individuals initiate and implement changes that diverge from the taken-for-granted norms in a field of activity. A native of France, Professor Battilana earned a B.A. in sociology and economics, an M.A. in political sociology, and an M.Sc. in organizational sociology and public policy from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan.


Claire Boine

Research Scientist and Senior Policy Research Fellow

Claire Boine is a Senior Policy Research Fellow at the Future of Life Institute, the organization that created one of the earliest and most influential set of AI soft law governance initiatives (the Asilomar AI principles). She works on strategies to mitigate the potential harms of technology and promote beneficial artificial intelligence. Claire is also a Research Associate at the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute and in the Accountable AI in a Global Context Research Chair at UOttawa, where she is the Director of the Women and AI research project. After initially studying history (B.A. Paris IV Sorbonne), Claire completed a Master in Public Policy (Harvard University), and a JD (Master 2) in European and International Law (Nantes Law School).



Victorien Coquery


Victorien Coquery teaches French and Ancient literature at the International School of Boston. While studying at the École Normale Supérieure (2010-2015), he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history and history of art at University Paris Sorbonne. He wrote his master’s thesis upon “The philosophy of colours in Lucretia’s De rerum natura” under the direction of Carlos Lévy. After the agrégation, his teaching experience in Los Angeles, Paris, Montpellier, Longwy and Boston led him to explore innovative pedagogies such as the setting up of an interactive exhibition on Tocqueville or the creation of karaoke videos in Latin or ancient Greek.


Boris Cyrulnik

Ethologist, Neurologist, and Psychiatrist

Boris Cyrulnik is a French ethologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist. He developed and popularized the concept of resilience, which refers to recovering psychologically from severe suffering and trauma. He led a research group in clinical ethology at the Toulon-La Seyne-sur-Mer hospital and is director of studies in human ethology at the University of Toulon. He is also in great demand by companies to speak on subjects such as well-being, behavior in times of crisis, or even the management of failure. 


Camille Dejardin

Doctor in Political Science

Camille Dejardin is a French doctor and researcher in Political Science. Her research focuses on European political theory from the nineteenth century to the present, with the aim of identifying the doctrinal movements and underlying trends that have influenced the conception of the “common good”. Questioning the blurring of many traditional boundaries of political theory (utilitarianism and liberalism, conservatism and progressivism, right and left…), her reflection seeks to return to the sources of the European tradition in order to better understand the meaning of a “progressive” thought today. 


Sheila Jasanoff

Director of Program and Professor

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School. A pioneer in her field, she has authored more than 130 articles and chapters and is author or editor of more than 15 books, including The Fifth Branch, Science at the Bar, Designs on Nature, The Ethics of Invention, and Can Science Make Sense of Life? Her work explores the role of science and technology in the law, politics, and policy of modern democracies. She founded and directs the STS Program at Harvard.


James Katz

Director of Program and Professor

James E. Katz is the Feld Professor of Emerging Media and also directs the College of Communication’s Division of Emerging Media Studies at Boston University. His core interests revolve around societal and interpersonal aspects of communication technology. His pioneering publications on artificial intelligence (AI) and society, social media, mobile communication, and robot-human interaction have been internationally recognized and translated into a dozen languages. His two most recent books, Journalism and the Search for Truth in an Age of Social Media, co-edited with Kate Mays, and Philosophy of Emerging Media, co-edited with Juliet Floyd, were published by Oxford University Press.


Bruno Latour

Philosopher, Anthropologist and Sociologist

French sociologist and anthropologist known for his innovative and iconoclastic work. His early studies were in philosophy and theology, but his interests expanded to include anthropology and the philosophy of science and technology. In his writings, Latour has often compared the scientific community to a battlefield: new theories, facts, techniques, and technologies succeeded by marshalling enough users and supporters to overwhelm any alternatives, thus immunizing themselves against future challenges. He is also well-known for his interest in complex and heterogeneous relationships between both human and nonhuman agents in the production of scientific knowledge.

Latour is best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern (1991), Laboratory Life (1979) and Science in Action (1987).


Cyr Medo

Upstream Investment Analyst

Cyr Medo is an investment analyst at the International Finance Corporation, where he focuses on the development of the transport sector in emerging countries, especially in Africa. Before joining IFC, he was an employee at BNP Paribas in London. Cyr is also a co-founder of an award-winning agribusiness venture in Benin, where he grew up. In Benin, he has also been part of an education program to promote access to libraries and initiation of high school and college students to programming skills. Cyr is a bi-national of Benin and France and hold an engineering diploma from Central-Supelec in Paris. 


Fabio Pacucci

Astrophysicist and Science Educator

Fabio Pacucci is an Italian astrophysicist and science educator, currently at Harvard University and at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. He received his Ph.D. in Physics in 2016 at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (Italy). Fabio is widely known for his contributions to the study of black holes. He is also a science educator, engaged in public talks on astronomy and science in general. Since 2018, he has been a collaborator of TED in developing educational videos about science. The four videos released so far were watched by millions of people worldwide and translated into 25 languages.


Mark Popeney

Composer and Associate Professor

Mark Popeney is a Boston-based composer whose music spans many styles, from the concert stage to musical theater. His music has been performed by Ensemble Signal, the USC Thornton Symphony, the Chagall Performance Art Collaborative, and more. As Professor of Music and chair of the Department of Performing Arts at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA, Mark teaches music theory, composition, and music technology. His research activities include music theory pedagogy, the relationship between politics and music, and student learning outcomes assessment. Mark is also an avid singer, guitarist, and producer.


Nicolas Prevelakis

Assistant Director of Curricular Development and Associate Senior Lecturer

Nicolas Prevelakis is the Assistant Director of Curricular Development at the Center for Hellenic Studies and Associate Senior Lecturer on Social Studies at Harvard. He received a first Ph.D. in Moral and Political Philosophy from the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4) and a second one in Political Sociology from Boston University. His research focuses on the history of political philosophy, religion and politics, globalization, and the historical connection between nationalism and secularization throughout the world


Mark Schiefsky

Professor and Director

Mark J. Schiefsky is C. Lois P. Grove Professor of the Classics and Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University. Much of his work focuses on how philosophy interacted with science in Greco-Roman antiquity. His 2005 book explores these themes in one of the most important and influential texts in the Hippocratic Corpus, On Ancient Medicine. In recent years, Schiefsky has been working on the reception of ancient Greek philosophy and science, particularly in the Arabic-speaking world but also in the Renaissance.


Hilton Simmet

Fellow of the Harvard STS Program

Hilton Simmet is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy and a Research Associate in the Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS) at Harvard Kennedy School. His research examines how analytic tools in economics, political science, and other quantitative social science fields construct narratives of social progress that guide public policies aiming to “solve” problems of development and inequality. Drawing on the politics of knowledge in STS, his work confronts conventional accounts of democracy in political theory to unlock alternatives for human flourishing in an expert-ruled 21st century.


Doris Sommer

Professor and Director of Studies

Doris Sommer is Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her academic and outreach work promotes development through arts and humanities. Among her books are Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America (1991) about novels that helped to consolidate new republics; Proceed with Caution when Engaged by Minority Literature (1999) on a rhetoric of particularism; Bilingual Aesthetics: A New Sentimental Education (2004); and The Work of Art in the World: Civic Agency and Public Humanities (2014). 


Masha Shpolberg

Assistant Professor and Researcher

Masha Shpolberg teaches and writes about global documentaries and Russian and Eastern European cinema, with a special focus on feminist, ecological, and labor aesthetics. She is particularly interested in how opposition filmmakers were able to draw on the experiments of the interwar avant-garde in order to deconstruct the vocabulary of Socialist Realism and circumvent censorship. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Film & Media Studies from Yale University and the Ecole Normale Supérieure.


Bonnie Talbert

Lecturer and Associate Director of Studies

Bonnie Talbert is a Lecturer and Associate Director of Studies in the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard University. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy in 2009 from Columbia University, where she taught Contemporary Civilization in the Core Curriculum. She has also taught courses on existentialism, applied ethics, logic, the history of modern philosophy, philosophy of psychology, and friendship. Her research interests include philosophy of psychology, other minds, and interpersonal knowledge. 

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