Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair Goes Virtual in 2020

Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron to bring together the science fair community and celebrate STEM through Virtual Regeneron ISEF

WASHINGTON, DC – The Society for Science & the Public today announced that the organization will be hosting a Virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) program May 18 through May 22 that will include speakers of the highest caliber, focusing on topics ranging from COVID-19 to entrepreneurship to being a woman in STEM.

“The Society is thrilled to bring the science fair community together for an amazing virtual event where students from around the world will have an opportunity to hear from top scientists, Nobel Laureates and influential entrepreneurs,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.

The Society and Regeneron are welcoming all members of the science fair community and the larger scientific community to participate in Virtual Regeneron ISEF. “As the ISEF title sponsor, Regeneron knows it is critical to engage and inspire STEM students around the world–especially given that schooling has been interrupted for so many,” said Hala Mirza, Regeneron Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications & Citizenship. “Virtual Regeneron ISEF will give students an opportunity to hear from top scientific minds at a time when the world needs the power of science, and the potential of future generations, more than ever.”

Virtual attendees will hear from experts, including:

  • Society for Science & the Public President and CEO and Publisher of Science NewsMaya Ajmera (STS 1985)
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner (2018), Linus Pauling Professor, California Institute of Technology Frances Arnold
  • Partner, First Round Capital, Hayley Bay Barna (STS 2001)
  • Google Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner (2008) and Professor, Biological Sciences, Columbia University, Martin Chalfie
  • President, Association of American Universities Mary Sue Coleman (ISEF 1959-1960; STS 1961)
  • National Medal of Technology and Innovation winner and University of Connecticut Professor, Cato Laurencin
  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner (2014) and Harry S. Mosher Professor and Professor by Courtesy of Applied Physics at Stanford University, W.E. Moerner
  • MacArthur Fellow and Binder/Amgen Professor of Biology and Geobiology at California Institute of Technology, Dianne Newman (ISEF 1987-1988)
  • Regeneron Co-Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer, George D. Yancopoulos (STS 1976)
  • Investigator, HHMI, Core Institute Member, Broad Institute, James and Patricia Poitras Professor in Neuroscience at McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT, Feng Zhang (ISEF 1998-1999; STS 2000)

This virtual event will be open to the public at no cost. Unfortunately, many science fairs were not able to host their competitions this year because of concerns around COVID-19 and the need for social distancing. The Society and Regeneron, therefore, want to ensure that all students who completed a science fair project have an opportunity to participate in Virtual Regeneron ISEF this year.

“The Society and Regeneron are excited to share this programming with anyone who has a passion for STEM,” Ajmera noted. “We are all disappointed that we cannot gather together in person for the incredibly special experience that is the International Engineering and Science Fair. But through Virtual Regeneron ISEF we will be able to share exciting programming with students from around the world as well as STEM professionals, teachers and alumni of our competitions.”

More information about the full program, which will include a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions, will be shared in the coming days and weeks. We are excited to showcase the research of students from around the world. Finalists that were named have been given the opportunity to have their abstract published and to share a short video and/or photos of themselves and their projects.

Although the event will not include virtual judging, the finalists’ materials will be arranged by category and available for all to visit and experience. After extensive review and consideration, the Society determined it would not be feasible or fair to host a virtual judging experience given that a significant percentage of our affiliate fairs were not able to hold a fair and name finalists. Moreover, the logistical challenges of language, time zones and equity of technology suggests that any process that the Society could implement would not be experienced equally or justly across the audience to be judged.

In addition to Title Sponsor Regeneron, Major Sponsors are Broadcom Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft Azure Sphere, National Geographic Society and Siegel Family Endowment. Additional support provided by Akamai Foundation, Arconic Foundation, Craig and Barbara Barrett Foundation, The Richard F. Caris Foundation, Covington Capital Management, Gilead Sciences, Susie and Gideon Yu Foundation, Carl Zeiss, Inc. and Feng Zhang Fund for STEM Outreach and Equity.

About Society for Science & the Public

Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazines, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).