DSCF8754.jpg

About Bina

Bina Venkataraman is a writer and policy expert whose work lies at the intersection of science and social & environmental change. Currently, she is a Fellow at New America and teaches in the department of science, technology, and society at MIT. She is a former journalist for The New York Times and The Boston Globe

Bina previously served as Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation in the Obama White House, where she forged partnerships among communities, companies, and government to combat carbon emissions and prepare for climate disasters. She has also led coalitions to shape national science policies as Director of Global Policy Initiatives at the Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT, a position from which she is currently on leave.

Send a note here if you have a speaking request or inquiry.

Follow @binajv

Bina is an alumna of Brown University and Harvard’s Kennedy School.  She is the recipient of Fulbright, a Princeton in Asia fellowship, a Metcalf fellowship, and a James Reston fellowship. She serves on the Brown University President’s Leadership Council, the advisory council of the Institute at Brown for the Environment and Society, and the Board of Earthwatch. She was named a 2015 Global Young Leader by the French-American Foundation.

Bina has worked in India, Alaska, Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, and Guatemala; she grew up in Ohio. Her endeavors abroad and at home have included translating Spanish and English in emergency rooms, teaching writing to Harlem high school students, working the graveyard shift at a  hotel in the Arctic wilderness, lobster fishing in Baja California Sur, and cataloguing films for a cinema critic in Havana. 

Writing

Selected Commentaries and Articles

 

The Breathtaking Beauty of Our Planet's Destruction

Foreign Policy, September/October 2016

 

 

Frankenstein and the Problem with "Playing God"

Slate, January 2017

 

Should We Engineer Future Humans?

New America Weekly, December 2015

 

What Experiments to Block out the Sun Can’t Tell Us

Slate, January 2016

 

The Race to Preserve Disappearing Digital Artifacts
The Boston Globe, May 2015

 

Finding Order in the Apparent Chaos of Currents

The New York Times, September 2009

 

The US and Cuba: Reflections on Waiting

The Boston Globe, December 2014

 

An Emerging Threat to State Innovation

The Boston Globe, April 2015

 

Why We Were Not Better Prepared for an Ebola Outbreak

The Boston Globe, November 2014

 

The New York Times’ Book of Mathematics

(Contributor). Published 2013

 

The Queen of the Rubik’s Cube

The New York Times, December 2008

 

Microbes Eat Away at Pieces of History

The New York Times, June 2008


The Other Global Warming: A Cosmic View of the Planet’s Energy Crisis

The Boston Globe, January 2009

 

Where War Once Raged, Nature Now Prevails: A Sampan Tour on the Mekong River

The Boston Globe, December 2006

 

$1 Million to Inventor of a Tracker for ALS

The New York Times, February 2011

 

Block Island Embraces Offshore Wind Farm

The Boston Globe, October 2008

 

The Politics of Puppetry

The Christian Science Monitor, July 2007

 

Countries Make Push to Increase Eye Donors

The New York Times, July 2008

 

DNA from Ancient Coral Unlocks Climate Clues

The Boston Globe, December 2008

 

Contests Increasingly a Top Draw for Innovators

The Boston Globe, November 2009

 

Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest

The New York Times, July 2008

 

Why Can’t a Woman Man the Grill?

The Christian Science Monitor, June 2007

 

Sushi and Global Trade: A Review of The Sushi Economy

The Christian Science Monitor, June 2007

 

A Path Toward a STEM Teacher Corps

For the President of the United States, April 2013

 

Prepare and Inspire: A Report to President Obama on K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education

On behalf of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology, 2010

Talks

Selected Appearances

 

Aspen Ideas Festival
June 28-July 1, 2017
 

New York University Institute of Fine Arts
Rejuvenate and Repeat with Lucy Kim, April 17, 2017
 

Cambridge Science Festival
Tipping the Scales on Climate ChangeApril 20, 2017
 

Arizona State University
From Abstraction to Action on Climate Change, October 2016


Acadia Science Symposium
From the Ground Up and Satellite Down: Science in Service of Action
on Climate Change, Bar Harbor, Maine, October 2016
 

ComSciCon2016
Communicating Science for PolicyMicrosoft, June 2016
 

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
Challenging Equations: Reflections on Shaping Policy with Science in the Obama Administration, MIT, May 2016
 

Atmospheres Conference
Windspeed: Aligning Political and Planetary Time HorizonsBrown University, April 2016
 

Knight Fellows Seminar
Shaping Policy with Science in the Obama Administration. MIT, March 2016
 

Future Tense Event: Can We Engineer Away Zika Virus?
New America, DC, February 2016 
 

Aspen Ideas Festival, June 2015
Enough to Go Around: The Ethics of Agriculture

Advice From Women Who Lead  

Hot Air: Whither the Fight Against Climate Change?  
 

Fermilab Colloquium
Keynote: A Challenging Equation: Shaping Policy with Science. July 2015.
 

WBUR Radio Boston Interview
Preserving Disappearing Data in the Digital Age. May 2015.
 

Muddy River Symposium Keynote
From the Ground Up & Satellite Down: How we Can Tackle the Climate Crisis. April 2015
 

Cambridge Science FestivalAssociation for Women in Science Keynote
Shaping Policy with Science: A Call to Action. April 2015
 

Food Almanac, hosted by SlowFood NYC
Climate Change, Agriculture, & Resilience, February 2015
 

Earthwatch Institute Annual Gala Keynote
The Changing Planet: Getting from Science to Action, November 2014
 

Stanford University Roundtable with Lesley Stahl
The Climate Conversation You Haven’t Heard. October 24, 2014
 

VERGE Conference - San Francisco
Addressing Climate Change Through Data Innovation. October 29, 2014
(time stamp: 3hr 35min)
 

Aspen Ideas Festival 2014
Crunching the Climate Numbers. June 2014
 

VERGE NYC Keynote  
Driving Climate Action through Innovation. September 2014
(time stamp: 1 hr 37 min)
 

Brown University 250th Fall Forum
Land, Sea & Sky: How Science, Policy & Politics Influence Planet Earth. September 2014
 

MIT Climate and Crowds Conference
Big Data and Climate Change. November 2013
 

American Academy for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting
Communicating Science to Policymakers, February 2013