6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

From Curiosity to Discovery: A Conversation with Jane Harman and Dr. France A. Córdova

Webcast available

Event Co-sponsors

National Science Foundation

Webcast Recap

Wilson Center President, Director & CEO Jane Harman hosted a conversation with National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova about the future of innovation. The discussion showcased NSF’s investments in fundamental research, its contributions to innovation and business and highlighted Dr. Córdova - an astrophysicist, ground breaking female scientist, agency head, and Washington thought leader.

Selected Quotes

Jane Harman

“Being the first and only woman is not enough, certainly not to me and I’m sure not to you. Having a critical mass of women all along the path is, I think, the major driver of dreams for little girls.”

France A. Cordova

“As fond as I am of understanding the origin of the universe, I think we arguably understand more about that now than we do about our own planet. We’re going to have to understand the changes that are happening on our planet, the reasons for them, [and] do very good, thorough observations of them, in order to know how to be resilient.”

“In today’s world, because it’s so dependent on science and technology, if you don’t appreciate it or at least know enough, it’s hard to make decisions that are very, very important…we [the National Science Foundation] inform public policy…it’s very important, to move forward as a country, that we have a good science basis for making the kind of policy decisions that are required.”

“We really need to put the focus on our own population, our own young people, and encourage more of them to go into these amazing careers…we’re discovering the real problem now is on persistence. People get into STEM, women and underrepresented minorities, but it’s sometimes hard to stay in STEM.”

“At NSF, I’m just so thrilled that our mission is about basic research. It’s also about trying to translate that research, to move it along out into the public domain.” 

11-13-2018 From Curiosity to Discovery: A Conversation with Jane Harman and Dr. France A. Córdova