Announcing Our 2017 Scholars

Scholars pose for a photo on the Aspen Institute grounds in Aspen, Colorado at Spotlight Health 2016.
This summer 300 emerging young leaders will join the ranks of attendees at Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Festival. Hailing from across the US and 30 countries, the Scholars represent a variety of fields including the military, academia, science, journalism, and the arts. They’re selected for their work, accomplishments, and ability to transform ideas into action. The hope is that the Scholars engage with the Festival, wrestle with the big ideas presented, and make connections that can help advance their work.
Gina Rudan attended the Festival as a 2016 Scholar. Here’s what she had to say about the program.
"For me, the conversational style of the panels kept me engaged and I loved connecting with both speakers and Festival attendees. I felt welcomed, engaged, supported, inspired and truly had a magical experience where I left with an increased sense of optimism for this hurting country. Overall, there are no other quality intellectual gatherings where I've experienced such acceptance and engaged conversation."
The Scholars program is made possible through the generosity of our Patrons and sponsoring organizations.

The Genetics Revolution


Lyme disease has infected more than a quarter of Nantucket’s residents. Michael Specter of The New Yorker writes that the disease has changed the nature of summer itself. As a solution, MIT Assistant Prof. Kevin Esvelt has proposed rewriting the DNA of the mice that pass Lyme to ticks. Specter and Esvelt will speak in our Genetics Revolution track. Ahead of the track, we’re also reading CRISPR Makes It Clear: The US Needs a Biology Strategy, and Fast and DNA testing is shedding light on centuries of African American historical trauma.




Space—Why We Explore


Why do human beings explore? And why are the most adventurous explorers drawn to outer space? In this episode of Aspen Ideas to Go, astronomer David Aguilar explains why, as we age, the drive for adventure fades, and how we can regain it. And physicists Janna Levin, Lisa Randall, and Lawrence Krauss dig into what the universe is made of. Their conversation is led by Ira Flatow, host of Science Friday. Subscribe on iTunes, find us on NPR One, or listen on SiriusXM Insight.




Memorable Words


“Why aren’t we doing basic cyber hygiene? How do we ensure the integrity of information and identity in an open Internet.” — Jane Holl Lute, 2016 Aspen Ideas