A trio of esteemed scientists visited campus as part of the 11th annual student-organized STEM Conference. Under the theme of “Ethics in STEM,” the conference featured:
Dr. Stacy Pritt – associate vice president, research support and regulatory management, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Andrew Gatherer ’14 – guidance, navigation and control engineer, SpaceX, and a co-chair of St. Mark’s 2013 STEM Conference
Sara Ord – director of species restoration, Colossal
Throughout the day, these scientists visited classes and shared their experiences in the fields of aerospace, research and biology. Ord explained her company’s efforts to bring back extinct species, beginning with the wooly mammoth. Gatherer shared the challenges of his job keeping track of SpaceX’s Starlink, a constellation of thousands of satellites that provides internet access to dozens of underserved countries, including Ukraine. Dr. Pritt discussed the importance of ethics in STEM and her work overseeing UT Southwestern’s compliance research, conflict of interest, security, stem cell research, oversight, data management and international export control.
In addition to their scientific work, each visitor spoke about the importance of ethics — both in their field and beyond.
“Even outside of STEM, having an understanding of ethics is so instrumentally important to being a better leader and being a better team member,” Ord said.
Middle and Upper School students listened to the visiting experts during assemblies and classes throughout the day. The scientists were impressed with the range and thoughtfulness of questions asked by Marksmen.
“I wish I'd been introduced to ethics so much sooner,” Dr. Pritt said. “Formal ethics training can help you understand some of the major philosophies in the field and how to have that argument. It is just fascinating to me to understand the different sides of an argument.”
St. Mark's STEM Conference was created in 2013 to broaden students’ understanding of these topics and promote a passion for careers in the STEM disciplines by inviting professionals in these fields to visit St. Mark’s.
This year's conference was organized by student co-chairs Will Grable ’23, Renil Gupta ’23, Arnav Lahoti ’24 and Kevin Lu ’24.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.