About the Author

Jo Handelsman

Dr. Jo Handelsman is currently the Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.  Previously, she served for President Obama for three years as the Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Molecular Biology and has served on the faculties of UW-Madison and Yale University. Handelsman has authored over 250 papers, 30 editorials and 6 books. She is responsible for groundbreaking studies in microbiology and gender in science.

In 2023, Handelsman was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. This recognition is for distinguished and continued achievements in original research, and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

Other works by Jo Handelsman
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Contributing Researcher

Kayla Cohen

Kayla Cohen provided research and creative contributions to A World Without Soil. She is completing a master’s degree in Environment and Development at the London School of Economics.