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Bethany Downer

Bethany Downer

Organization: Chief Science Communications Officer - Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes

Keynote title: Exploring the Unknown: From Newfoundland to Space


This talk will highlight some of this province's connection to the space industry, with a focus on connections to the offshore industry and climate change. We will then look to the future with where we as a society are headed in our future in space, with a special look into the workings and results from the James Webb Space Telescope.

About the speaker:

Bethany Downer, born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, specializes in science and technology communication for the space industry. She is the Chief Science Communications Officer for the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes for the European Space Agency, and is responsible for sharing the latest scientific updates and beautiful imagery with the world. She has previously worked for organizations including the International Astronomical Union, the UNESCO International Day of Light, and SES Networks. Bethany is a member of the International Astronautical Federation's Space Education and Outreach Committee and the Workforce Development-Young Professionals Programme Committee. She has also conducted space science outreach to over 10,000 Canadian students and is actively supporting students and young professionals in Atlantic Canada who want to pursue careers in the space domain. Bethany has twice been named one of Canada's Top 30 under 30, and is a recipient of the Canadian Sovereign’s Medal from the country’s Governor General.