More than 1,200 scientists and defense officials are gathering in St. Louis this week at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference.
Hosted by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Chemical and Biological Department, the week-long event gathers some of the brightest minds in science from government, academia and industry, converging to share their research and find solutions for chemical and biological threats.
The theme of this year’s conference is Finding Tomorrow’s Solutions in Today’s Environment and encourages scientists to exchange their ideas, interact with elite researchers, and engage with DTRA leadership.
Opening presentations included featured speakers Dr. Chris Hassell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense, Mr. Kenneth Myers, director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and Dr. Ronald Hann, director of the Chemical and Biological Technologies Department at DTRA.
Dr. Hann’s introduction included a video highlighting the constant need for innovative solutions for today’s chemical and biological issues, and thinking and acting beyond current and traditional methods by harnessing ever-changing technology to find and create solutions for future threats. As part of his presentation he smashed a beaker, challenging attendees to think beyond it.
“It’s not about research papers, it’s not about patents – those are about HOW we get things done,” he said. “Today I want you to get outside the box. Step away from the beaker, join our team and ask yourself, ‘How do I get ahead of the information wave? What is the penicillin of the digital age? What is the next BIG THING?’”
Throughout the week there will be seminar discussions on topics ranging from nano-technologies, continued Ebola efforts, potential counter-weapons of mass destruction applications, and biodefense vaccines.
Keynote speakers, oral presenters and poster presenters from across the nation will discuss novel threat and disruptive chemical and biological discovery; dynamic functional materials; applied mathematics and innovative computational tools; flexible design, synthesis and manufacturing; and systems biology and engineering.
Article and image courtesy of DTRA, adapted for context and format.