Sponsoring Organizers:

Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development
David Stewart,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Congress Committee:

Dimitri Christakis, Seattle Children's Research Institute
Elizabeth Englander, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center
Patricia Greenfield, Children’s Digital Media Center, UCLA
Carrie James, Project Zero, Harvard University
Larry Rosen, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Melina Uncapher, UCSF
Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University
Paul Weigle, Hartford Hospital

  • How is digital media enhancing and/or impairing children’s ability to live happy, healthy, and productive lives?
  • How are years of electronically mediated interactions shaping children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development?
  • What should we do about it?

In 2015, Children and Screens joined forces with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to convene nearly 200 of the most experienced researchers, scientists, and clinicians at the intersection of digital media and child development for a seminal three-day interdisciplinary conference to address those three questions. Since then, research into how digital media influence childhood development has progressed meaningfully. This rapid progress, though, has been outpaced by the digital media revolution families are facing. Toddlers, children and adolescents are immersed in media, and its influence on all aspects of their development cannot be overstated. This reality defines the research challenges and opportunities ahead of us. 

This year, Children and Screens and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are delighted to announce the 2nd national Digital Media and Developing Minds Congress, October 15-18, 2018 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, New York.  This conference will once again foster fruitful interaction and collaboration between researchers, clinicians and educators.  Speakers and panelists will evaluate the current state of scientific knowledge regarding how digital media influence child development at multiple ages and stages; outline directions for future study, and recommend interventions and solutions. The Congress will begin with dinner and the first session on the evening of Monday, October 15, 2018, and will conclude with lunch on Thursday, October 18.

Featured panels and keynote discussions:

  • Internet addiction and problematic use
  • Social media and depression
  • Early childhood and parenting
  • School shootings and media violence
  • Physical health
  • Emerging technologies

Confirmed speakers and panelists:

    Craig Anderson, Iowa state University
    Jakki Bailey, University of Texas, Austin
    Dimitri Christakis, Seattle Children's Research Institute
    Adam Gazzaley, University of California, San Francisco
    Doug Gentile, Iowa State University
    Tristan Harris, The Center for Humane Technology
    Anya Kamenetz, NPR
    Jennifer Manganello, SUNY Albany
    Mark Mon Williams, University of Leeds, UK
    Vicky Rideout, VJR Consulting
    Tom Robinson, Stanford University
    Larry Rosen, California State University, Dominguez Hills
    Melina Uncapher, University of California, San Francisco
    Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University
    Emily Weinstein, Harvard University
    Kimberly Young, Center for Internet Addiction Recovery; St. Bonaventure University

Participants from academia, clinical practice, and research are welcome to submit abstracts in any of six major themes of the conference:

  • Cognition: Learning, Media Multitasking, Literacy, Attentional problems, Language Development/Communication, Executive Function, Creativity, Habits of Mind 
  • Social: Families, Parenting, Relationships, Social Competence, Stereotypes, Civic Engagement and Participatory Politics, Sexting
  • Emotional: Digital Addiction, Violent Content, Cyberbullying, Sexual Behavior, Anxiety and Depression
  • Behavioral: Sleep, Aggression, Risk Taking, Driving Safety, Play
  • Physical: Obesity, Activity, Vision Effects, Orthopedic Effects
  • Cross cutting topics: Privacy, Virtual/Augmented Reality and Emerging Technologies, Advertising, Social Media, Smart Phones, Screentime
Abstracts are due on August 10, and will be published in the program booklet distributed to all attendees.


  • Highlight successes and challenges of the latest tools being utilized to study media's impact on toddlers, children and adolescents.
  • Explore advances in audio and video monitoring and wireless communications, natural language processing, software and data analytics available to the research community.
  • Examine data mining of large data sets, data access and integration
  • Discuss data sharing, public access and open source platforms
  • Develop evidence-based pediatric media health screening protocols
The exposition will culminate in the development of tools and methodologies white papers, which will be published in a journal supplement following the conference.

Selection of material for oral and poster presentations will be made by the organizing committees. The status of abstracts (i.e., talk or poster) will be posted as soon as decisions have been made by the organizers. Please bring this announcement to the attention of any of your colleagues who may be interested in participating in the congress.

All questions pertaining to registration, fees, housing, meals, transportation, visas, abstract submission or any other matters should be directed to Catie Carr at carr@cshl.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in October 2018.

Registration Pricing:
  • Academic Package $1190
  • Graduate/PhD Student Package $1000 *see below for more information about financial assistance*
  • Corporate Package $1505
  • Academic/Student No-Housing Package $815
  • Corporate No-Housing Package $1015

Regular Academic, Graduate/PhD student, and Corporate packages are all-inclusive and cover registration, food, housing, parking, a wine-and-cheese party, cocktail reception, and lobster banquet. No-Housing packages include all costs except housing. Full payment is due four weeks prior to the meeting.

Register here or click the "Register" tab at the top of the page.

*Children and Screens and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are eager to have as many young people as possible attend this meeting. As such, we have some funds set aside to partially support students and postdocs. Please register and apply in writing to Catie Carr at carr@cshl.edu stating your eligibility and need for financial support. Preference will be given to those submitting abstracts.