Shawn Otto


Author, Filmmaker · Marine on St Croix, Minnesota

Shawn Otto is an award-winning science advocate, writer, teacher, and speaker. He is the cofounder and producer of the first US Presidential Science Debates, for which he received the IEEE-USA’s National Distinguished Public Service Award. He was a featured speaker at the inaugural March for Science and a behind the scenes organizer, and he speaks around the world on science, politics, religion, journalism and authoritarianism. His message seeks to arm listeners with tools to resist rising anti-science authoritarianism driven by far right religious, political, and business interests and enabled by journalists. His latest book is The War on Science, which has been called “one of the most important books written in the last decade,” and is winner of the Minnesota Book Award for nonfiction.

 Otto has been a keynote speaker at the National Academies in Washington, DC, the Nobel Conference, the EuroScience Open Forum, the World Conference of Science Journalists, the European Union of Science Journalists, and universities, conferences, and private organizations worldwide. He is also a novelist and filmmaker. His film House of Sand and Fog starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly was nominated for three Academy Awards, and his novel Sins of Our Fathers, a literary thriller, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a winner of the Northeast Minnesota Book Award. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Rebecca Otto, a statewide political leader, in a clean energy home he designed and the couple built with their own hands. The couple have one son, Jacob.

Shawn often speaks on:

  • The War on Science
  • Antiscience and the rise of far right religious, political and industry authoritarianism
  • Modern technology: democracy’s existential crisis
  • Alternative facts, journalism, and the end of reality
  • Teaching Passion for Science in an Anti-Science World
  • Tapping the Power of Story
  • When Faith Created Science
  • Climate Politics: what the science says and what the money says

Contact Shawn Otto >>

Topics: Debates, Education
Subtopics: Science education

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