Keynote Speaker

Portrait of Dr. Indre Viskontas

Dr. Indre Viskontas

Indre Viskontas is a sought-after science communicator across all mediums. She co-hosted the 6-episode docuseries Miracle Detectives on the Oprah Winfrey Network and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, major radio stations across the US, including several appearances on the NPR program City Arts & Lectures and The Sunday Edition on the CBC in Canada. She currently co-hosts the web series Science in Progress for Tested.com and VRV. She is the co-creator and host of the popular science podcast Inquiring Minds, which boasts more than 7 million downloads. As a working singer, she is especially interested in the intersection between art and science, particularly when it involves music, and her new podcast, "Cadence: what music tells us about the mind," is now available on iTunes.

Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, she is affectionately known as Dr. Dre by her students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is pioneering the application of neuroscience to musical training, and at the University of San Francisco, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology. She received a BSc in psychology and French literature from the University of Toronto, an MM degree in vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at UCLA.

As a scientist, Dr. Viskontas has published more than 50 original papers and chapters related to the neural basis of memory and creativity, including several seminal articles in top scientific journals. Her scientific work has been featured in Oliver Sacks’ book MusicophiliaNature: Science Careers and Discover Magazine. She has also written for MotherJones.comAmerican ScientistVitriol Magazine and other publications.

She often gives keynote talks, for organizations as diverse as Genentech, the Dallas Symphony, SXSW and Ogilvy along with frequent invited talks at conferences and academic institutions. Her 24-lecture course, "Essential Scientific Concepts," was released by The Great Courses in 2014, selling more than 20,000 copies in its first year. Her second course, "Brain Myths Exploded: Lessons from Neuroscience," was released in early 2017 and has already been streamed more than 700,000 times. She is the Creative Director of Pasadena Opera and founder and director of the vocal chamber music group Vocallective.