“The Sackler conference constituted a global convening of field-leading scientists to discuss an increasingly urgent issue: the impact of technology and media on the developing mind. Kudos to the National Academy of Sciences and Children and Screens: the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development for leading this important field-building effort that promises to galvanize research efforts across multiple disciplines and methods. This represents an important next step in empowering parents, educators, and policymakers in understanding what is a healthy media diet.”
Melina Uncapher, PhD
Research Scientist, Department of Psychology, Stanford University; Co-Founder/CEO Institute of Applied Neuroscience: Science for Good

“In more than 40 years of researching children and media, this was my first conference that brought such a diversity of disciplines together. For many years there were only a few of us who were dedicated to studying children and media, scattered across many fields of study. The explosion of new media, new ways to interact with media, and new forms of content has led to new and renewed interest in media impact on children and adolescents. This meeting was the first to bring together researchers in all their diversity who have been drawn to this new and greatly expanded field of inquiry. The conference showed that we can expect a corresponding explosion of innovative methodologies, theories, and findings. It left me with a real sense of hope for the future of our (greatly expanded) field.”
Dan Anderson, PhD
Professor Emeritus; Director of Children and Media Lab, University of Massachusettes, Amherst

“Bringing together thought leaders and scientists in many of the disciplines that bear on this issue was an important first step in establishing this all-important discourse on the future of our children and the society they will create. Now it is incumbent upon us all to build on these fresh transdisciplinary perspectives and potential collaborations to take a deep look at the influence on the brain development of screen-saturated children and adolescents, so that we can make informed, evidence-based decisions on how to raise healthy, happy and productive citizens of the future.”
Michael Rich, MD, MPH
Director, Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Boston Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School & Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health

“What a spectacular conference Children and Screens: Institute for Digital Media and Child Development created and delivered! It was simply wonderful in every possible way — intellectually, emotionally, socially! It was a feast to stimulate much thinking and action. I loved every minute and am so grateful to Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra for inviting me and including me as a speaker. That gave me a great opportunity to make some important points, which I think I did.”
Stephanie Brown, PhD
Director of Addictions Institute

“The interdisciplinary community gathered at the DMDM Conference provided an outstanding forum for learning, discussion, and collaboration. While there’s considerable interest in the possible impacts of media use on the developing individual, large gaps remain in the science. An aggressive research program targeting knowledge gaps would have a significant long-term impact, ultimately enabling evidence-based policy decisions.”
Anthony Wagner, PhD
Director, Stanford Memory Lab, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Stanford University

“The Sackler Colloquia, “Digital Media and Developing Minds,” was a unique opportunity to be part of a project helping to define the nation’s research agenda regarding digital technology and child development. For anyone who is interested in learning about the most interesting research and practices in this area, this conference was an important professional source of collaboration and information.”
Elizabeth Englander, PhD
Professor of Psychology, Bridgewater State University; Director and Founder of Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center

“Media represent a huge — and still apparently under-appreciated — developmental influence on children and adolescents. It is imperative that researchers get together periodically to review what’s known, what’s not known, and how to find out more. That’s what Pam Hurst-Della Pietra and the National Academy of Science has done with this conference – I hope that there will be many more!”
Victor Strasburger, MD
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics; Founding Chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico

“This represented a remarkable collection of scholars from medicine and the social sciences to consider the question of how this technology heavy world is impacting our youth … and what a timely event for setting a future research agenda. I truly not only enjoyed it but learned a lot…and I am and will be thinking about how to bring the fact of internet/technology addiction into consideration in my own research….and I’m planning on asking our med school here if any of the pediatrics med students can do a rotation in my lab…I would never have thought of either of these outcomes had I not attended the “Digital Media and Developing Minds” Conference…so thank you!! and again, Congratulations on a wonderful event!!”
Ellen Wartella, PhD
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University

“We need to understand how to train and integrate young people into the scientific enterprise. As the director of a federal research facility, I have recruited many young scientists, and nowadays, when much science is performed in large interdisciplinary collaborations, the students are all using digital media. How does growing up with a computer or a smartphone as your main source of information and communication affect the collaborative process of science? Digital Media and Developing Minds (conference) was an important next step in helping us to better understand the positive and negative impacts of new technology on our next generation of ‘knowledge workers’.”
Samuel Aronson, PhD
Former Director of Brookhaven National Laboratories

“The most valuable part of the conference for me was the exposure to new research in areas I am less familiar with as well as meeting new colleagues who think differently than I do and see the field from different points of view. It reinvigorated my appreciation of our field as interdisciplinary and my interest in being more inclusive of all forms of theory and research.”
Dafna Lemish, PhD
Professor of Communication; Chair and Interim-Dean, College of Mass Communication and Media Arts; Founding editor, Journal of Children and Media, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“…the question of course is whether anything interesting or unusual or potentially hazardous happens to our minds and brains as we are interacting with online sources. That is why this conference was so important – because we don’t know the answer to that question, and there is a research agenda which needs to be developed, and presumably prioritized so that we can find out answers to that question.”
Vint Cerf, VP
Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

“I thought Children and Screens and National Academy of Sciences put together a marvelous conference. I enjoyed speaking with everyone, participants and speakers, and was totally engaged the whole time.”
David Stopak
Senior Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

“The Digital Media and Developing Minds” conference was something that people looked forward to and that sparked many new and important conversations. It was an opportunity to hear a range of voices who are investigating the impact of digital media on development. Some of those participating disagree with each other. There was an opportunity, far too rare in the world of conferences, to hear differences aired, discussed, to potentially formulate research programs that could lead toward deeper understandings, not just louder declarations. This was a significant moment in the development of the discipline.”
Sherry Turkle, PhD
Author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

“Attending the Sackler symposium on Digital Media and Developing Minds was, in many ways a transformative experience. I have never attended a conference where so many of the leading media researchers from an eclectic set of disciplines convened to review the current state of the science and make recommendations for future research. For a long time, I have been an avid proponent of the importance of contiguity to spur innovation. What do I mean by that? In short, there is no substitute for proximity. Although I have read the work of most of the attendees and even seen some of them speak before, this was the first time I spent 3 very full days deeply engaged on matters related to children and media with the leading researchers in the field. The truth is, many highly divergent disciplines study children and media and we all attend the conferences that relate to our respective disciplines. Convening us all in one place was highly impactful. The outcomes that emerged, namely research priorities that had a distinctive transdisciplinary approach tell only part of the story. The rest, namely the opportunities for us to collaborate and enrich each others’ work going forward, will emerge over time.… This was a groundbreaking opportunity”
Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH
George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Professor of Health Services, University of Washington; Director, Center for Child Health, Behavior & Development, Seattle Children’s Hospitalin a Digital Age

“While attending the Children and Screens conference, a comment that I heard repeatedly from attendees was what an achievement Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra and the Institute had accomplished by bringing together such an array of leading scholars in this field. I kept hearing informally that never before had such a strong group come together and never had we worked together in such productive, creative and thought-provoking ways. Pam is on a mission to advance the science of media, technology and developing minds. This conference is one example of how she’s already been a game changer.”
Karen Dill-Shackleford, PhD
Faculty member at Fielding Graduate University; Author of

“The conference featured a great assembly of speakers and offered the attendants opportunities to work with each other through interactive sessions and workshops.”
Amy Lu, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Arts, Media and Design, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University

“The conference contained a diverse set of topics that studied children, teens, and emerging adults’ interaction with the newer forms of interactive digital media. The speakers were experts in their field and sessions examined how these interactions with digital media both affect and reflect the offline lives and long-term development of children and adolescents. The conference examined the latest technologies used by young people and how these continue to impact children’s emotional, cognitive, and social development. The opportunities to engage in workgroups to facilitate policies and procedures in selected areas was also helpful.”
Kimberly Young, PhD
Founder and Director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery

“The conference included pediatricians, professionals from non-profits, and scholars in communication and psychology, among other disciplines. The varying backgrounds of those in attendance created an interdisciplinary discussion that helped me think about topics related to children and media in new, innovative ways. The conversation was much more productive with feedback from professionals and scholars with different areas of expertise. As a junior faculty member, I really appreciated the workshopping that occurred on the last day of the conference. I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in a room with well-respected senior scholars in my field and brainstorm the state of the discipline, future research agendas, and research priorities. It is not often that junior faculty members get that opportunity. The workshopping helped me think about how I frame my own research agenda and how to develop professionally. Moreover, I just really enjoyed casual conversations that also occurred with people I admire. Funding is such a vital component to research; many of the professionals and scholars who spoke had conducted research that was well funded by external grants. They were very willing to provide advice. The grant success of those in attendance also simply reinforced why I need to become even more sharp in my grant writing skills.”
Bradley Bond, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communications, University of San Diego