Dr. Temple Grandin is well known to many for her trailblazing work as a spokesperson for people with autism and her lifelong work with animal behavior. Dr. Grandin has been with Colorado State University (CSU) for over 25 years. Grandin has been referred to as the “most famous person working at CSU” by her peers.

Her life’s work has been to understand her own autistic mind, and to share that knowledge with the world, aiding in the treatment of individuals with the condition. Her understanding of the human mind has aided her in her work with animal behavior, and she is one of the most respected experts in both autism and animal behavior in the world.

At the 2021 AOAC Annual Meeting & Exposition, on Monday, August 30, 2021, Dr. Grandin will present her keynote address, entitled, “Why Different Kinds of Minds Hold the Key to Innovation”.

Keynote Address Abstract

Mentors were extremely important for both my childhood and professional development. I had no speech until age four. My mother and teachers always encouraged my ability in art. During my teen years, I was bullied but was able to make friends through shared interests in horses, model rockets, and electronics. My science teacher gave me interesting science projects and got me motivated to study.

I am an extreme visual thinker, and all my thoughts are in pictures. This helped me understand animals because they live in a sensory based world. There are other individuals on the autism spectrum who are math pattern thinkers. To solve problems with technology in the future will require the two different types of minds working together. For example, an iPhone is easy to use because a visual thinker designed the interface, but the mathematical minds had to make it work.