Keynote Speakers 2017-11-08T14:57:34+00:00

Keynote Speakers


Glenn Begley

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m.
Room Auditorium 1

Chief Executive Officer
Chief Executive OfficerBioCurate Pty Ltd, Australia


Will Steger

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m.
Room Auditorium 1

Polar Explorer, Educator, Environmental Ambassador, Writer and Photographer
Polar Explorer, Educator, Environmental Ambassador, Writer and Photographer


Bonnie Keeler

4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m.
Room Auditorium 1

Director and Lead Scientist
Director and Lead ScientistNatural Capitol Project at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment

“Ten Percent of the Time It Works Every Time” or How to Recognize Sloppy Science

As scientists and physicians, we all want to make a difference. We all want to make discoveries that have a real impact on human health. Unfortunately however, the rewards that currently apply within the academic system provide a perverse set of incentives that reward flashy science with little regard for the quality, robustness or reliability of the work. That is particularly the case for papers published in the “top tier” journals.

In this presentation, I will review and “dissect” several high-profile, highly cited publications that illustrate the problem. These highly cited publications, from famous investigators and their laboratories, typically fail because experiments were not performed by blinded investigators, positive and negative controls were not used, experiments were not repeated, reagents were not validated, only select data was shown, and data analysis was inappropriate.

This is a systemic problem and not limited to a small number of laboratories, and it will require a multi-pronged approach to begin to address this issue.

About Begley
Before becoming CEO of BioCurate Pty Ltd in Australia in 2017, Glenn Begley was Chief Scientific Officer at Akriveia Therapeutics. He advises several biotechnology companies and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore.

Prior to Akriveia, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, based in Malvern, PA. From 2002–2012, he was Vice-President and Global Head of Hematology/Oncology Research at Amgen, responsible for building, directing and integrating Amgen’s five research sites. During this time, he became interested in the issue of research integrity and scientific reproducibility.

Before joining Amgen, he had more than 20 years of clinical experience in medical oncology and hematology. His personal research has focused on regulation of hematopoietic cells and translational clinical trials. His early studies first described human G-CSF, and in later clinical studies, he first demonstrated that G-CSF-“mobilized” blood stem cells hastened hematopoietic recovery compared with bone marrow transplantation. This finding revolutionized the approach to clinical hematopoietic cell transplantation.

He is board certified in Australia as a medical oncologist and hematologist, has a PhD in cellular and molecular biology, and has received numerous honors and awards, including being elected as the first Foreign Fellow to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2000, to the Association of American Physicians in 2008 and to the Research “Hall of Fame” at his alma mater, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, in 2014.

Note: You can meet Will Steger after his talk in the SETAC Central in the exhibit hall during his book signing.

Eyewitness to Climate Change

Will Steger has been an eyewitness to the ongoing catastrophic consequences of climate change. A formidable voice calling for understanding and the preservation of the Arctic and the Earth, Steger is best known for his legendary polar explorations. He has traveled tens of thousands of miles by kayak and dogsled over 50 years, leading teams on some of the most significant polar expeditions in history.

Steger joins Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary and Roald Amundsen in receiving the National Geographic Society’s prestigious John Oliver La Gorce Medal for “accomplishments in geographic exploration, in the sciences, and public service to advance international understanding” in 1995. This was the first time the Society presented all three categories together, and it has not been given since. In 1996, he became the National Geographic Society’s first Explorer-in-Residence. He received the Explorers Club’s Finn Ronne Memorial Award in 1997. In 2006, Steger joined Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Thor Heyerdahl and Neil Armstrong in receiving the Lindbergh Award. Steger was given this award for “numerous polar expeditions, deep understanding of the environment and efforts to raise awareness of current environmental threats, especially climate change.” The same year, Steger was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty to serve on the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, a group charged with recommending a climate action plan to substantially reduce Minnesota’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2007, Steger received the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Adventure Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on climate change. In 2009, Steger received a Conservation Leadership Award from Conservation Minnesota Voter Center. In 2014, a Minnesota Senate Resolution honored his leadership and accomplishments for raising awareness of the urgency of climate change.

Read his full biography at

The Prices and Policies That Drive Pollution: Why Environmentalists Need Economists and Academics Need Advocates

Unbalanced systems of accounting underlie environmental degradation – water pollution and other public goods such as air quality and climate change lack comprehensive policies that internalize their costs and support more sustainable and equitable delivery of benefits. Putting an economic value on these ecosystem services can change the way we evaluate alternative actions and lead to more strategic and effective conservation. Keeler will discuss how economists are mainstreaming nature’s values into decisions in Minnesota and around the world, and the potential challenges or pitfalls of this approach. She will also highlight needed reforms in academic incentives, graduate training and culture that, if addressed, can greatly enhance the translation of environmental science to practice and lead to better outcomes for people and the planet.

About Keeler
Bonnie Keeler is the director and lead scientist for the Natural Capital Project at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, where Keeler and her team use interdisciplinary tools and approaches to better communicate and quantify the value of nature. In collaboration with local and international partners, the Natural Capital Project has advanced the research and implementation of nature-based solutions around the world. Keeler’s particular expertise is in integrating ecology and economics to advance our understanding of true value of clean water. She also oversees projects on the costs and benefits of urban nature, prioritizing investments in conservation and restoration, and promoting the sustainable management of agricultural landscapes.