In this issue:
Message to Members:
The Importance of International Collaboration
News to Note: Emissions Reduction, Global Change, R&D Budget, Port Security, School Board Workshop
Advancing Science, Serving
Society: Minority Science Interns, ENTRY POINT!
Science Careers: Postdoc Conference
Announcements: AAAS Honors, New NIH Funding, and other Announcements and Events
Message to Members
The Importance of International Collaboration
Dear AAAS Member,
The development of sustainable solutions to worldwide social, economic, and environmental problems will require substantial growth in global science capacity. It is together, as a global science community, that we will be able to most effectively meet the complex challenges that affect us all. That is one reason why AAAS has programs that foster international collaboration and promote the free exchange of scientific ideas.
A statement from the AAAS Board in June, followed by a US newspaper editorial in July, stressed our support for open international communication among scientists, free from any mixing of political goals with scientific pursuits. During July, UK Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King gave an address at AAAS urging wealthy and developing nations to reach an emissions-reduction agreement to avoid "catastrophic" climate impacts. Our recent review of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change (IAI) underscored the importance of this multinational organization and its mission and recommended potential activities that it might undertake to strengthen its efforts. Continuing our collaboration with the Chinese S&T community, we are looking forward to the first US-China meeting on the topic of "Scientists' Social and Ethical Responsibilities," to be co-convened by the Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and AAAS at the end of September. For more information on these endeavors, see News to Note, below. For a comprehensive look at our global efforts, go to http://www.aaas.org/programs/international
We thank our members, who live and work on every continent, for supporting AAAS programs that enhance scientific cooperation for the benefit of people throughout the world.
Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS
News to Note
UK Science Advisor Urges Global Emissions-Reduction Pact
Speaking to an audience at AAAS headquarters on 13 July, Sir David King stressed the urgency of a carbon dioxide emissions-reduction global agreement among wealthy and developing nations by 2009 to come into force by 2012, calling for a leadership position from the United States . King, the UK's Chief Science Advisor and head of the UK Office of Science and Innovation, cited UK experience demonstrating that environmental and economic goals need not conflict. Watch a video
of the talk, see the PowerPoint
presentation, and access a comprehensive file of AAAS climate change resources
AAAS Reviews the Inter-American Institute
for Global Change
A new AAAS report, commissioned by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), includes a very positive review of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change (IAI), which is helping to build science capacity in the Americas. The review praised the IAI for its high-quality research and recommended it adopt stronger communications and outreach activities to maximize IAI's impact with policy makers and the public in its 19 member nations. Read about the report's key findings
, the institute, and the IAI's potential to be a significant force in the study of climate change in the Western Hemisphere, especially Latin America.
Calls for Diplomacy, Not Division, in Use of Science
A recent statement from the AAAS Board of Directors opposed a motion now being considered by a new UK association of college teachers to boycott "all Israeli academic institutions." A US House of Representatives resolution also condemned the initiative. On 16 July, a AAAS editorial concurred, calling for "diplomacy, not division." The editorial by CEO Alan I. Leshner, published in the Baltimore Sun
, noted that several international and British science organizations also decried talk of a boycott. Further, the editorial cited the positive "science-based bridge of goodwill, cooperation, and dialogue" being created by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization and the vital need for free communication among scientists worldwide. Read the AAAS Board statement
. The full article has been archived, but you can read an abstract of the editorial
at the Sun
US Congress Poised to Add Billions to
FY 2008 R&D Budget
A new analysis by the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, released 6 August, shows substantial increases in R&D investment for the US Fiscal Year 2008 which begins 1 October 2007. Much of the proposed new funding targets environment and climate, energy, and biomedical initiatives, and appropriations would also meet or exceed the White House proposed budget for physical sciences research and expand spending to develop new craft for human space exploration. The analysis cautions that the R&D increases could change in negotiations between the White House and Congress under a threat of a presidential veto. Read more
and access the full text of the new analysis.
Public Health Experts Urge a Balance of Safety,
Civil Liberties at US Ports
Each year, more than 425 million people enter the United States through 475 air, land, and sea ports-of-entry. Two public health experts at a 23 July Capitol Hill briefing urged the US public and private sectors to increase resources and procedures for disease surveillance while balancing the public's right to safety with an individual's right to privacy. Read more
about the search for sick travelers and those returning from high-risk areas, the quarantine system, and the call for international cooperation.
Workshop Presents Cutting-Edge Science Education to
US School Boards
A day-long workshop held in June for nearly 100 elected school board members from Kansas and Missouri was the latest phase in a historic three-year national project to help develop policies and support for state-of-the-art science, technology, and mathematics ( STM ) curricula. The project, co-sponsored by AAAS and the National School Boards Association (NSBA), targets the improvement of STM capability as schools begin testing students' science proficiency under the US No Child Left Behind law. The findings from extensive interviews and surveys, a website, and training materials from the project are to be delivered to state school board associations in all 50 states during February 2008. Read more
and access seminar materials, available online.
View the new AAAS video
on science-related education which opened the workshop. This video is requires RealPlayer
AAAS Thanks US House Leaders for
"America COMPETES" Support
In a letter to the leadership of the US House of Representatives, AAAS thanked those who helped craft a bipartisan bill that reinforces the importance of research and innovation for the American economy. AAAS urged passage of the bill, the America COMPETES Act, which the House approved by a 367-57 vote and the Senate approved by a voice vote on 2 August. President Bush signed the America COMPETES Act into law on Thursday, 9 August. "For the past two years, AAAS has seen impressive signs of collaboration between the branches of government and across party and regional lines on how to best meet" the innovation challenge, wrote CEO Alan I. Leshner in a 2 August letter to the leadership of the US House of Representatives. Read the full letter
Political Science: The Elements of Running for Office
Urging scientists to become aware of the political process, and political leaders to gain understanding of the science inherent in many issues, experts in policy and politics addressed former and current AAAS S&T Policy Fellows. The 16 July workshop was part of the 2007 lecture series for fellows and program alumni. Read more
about what former S&T Fellow and current US Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), campaign strategist Joe Trippi, and others had to say, and learn more about the fellowship program.
In Memoriam: Daniel E. Koshland Jr.
An award-winning biochemist who served as editor of Science
from 1985 to 1995, Daniel E. Koshland, Jr.,
is remembered by colleagues as a man of infectious enthusiasm, originality, wisdom, and wit, in tributes following his death on 23 July at age 87. Read about
his career accomplishments and his groundbreaking improvements to the journal's peer-review process, editorial content, and technology-based production.
See the 10 August issue of Science
for a detailed retrospective piece.
Science, Serving Society
Communicating Science: Minority Science Interns
The AAAS Minority Writers Internship program, currently in its third year, sponsors a paid 10-week internship for minority undergraduate students interested in science journalism. Working with Science
's award-winning reporters, they cover current S&T issues, attend congressional hearings, interact with policy makers, and talk with scientists conducting groundbreaking research.
A common gene variant that scientists believe slightly increases the risk of colon cancer and a science policy report urging the exploration of extreme environments on earth are among the topics covered by two young writers currently working as summer interns in Science
's news department. Veronica Raymond is an African-American and a journalism major at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), and Marissa Cevallos is a physics major of Ecuadorian descent at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Together, they are communicating science to a broad public audience, filing stories for Science
NOW, the journal's daily online news service. Read more
about their paths to science journalism and their plans for the future.
Learn more about the AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship
and the AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows
program which places graduate and postgraduate level students at US media organizations nationwide. Both programs are administered by AAAS Education and Human Resources.
ENTRY POINT! Interns: Capitol Hill Day
Each summer, talented undergraduate and graduate science and engineering students with disabilities are supported in 10-week paid internships at US government research agencies and leading companies nationwide. Twelve of this summer's 47 interns were placed in the Washington, D.C., area. They recapped their experiences and met with Congressional representatives and staff during the recent ENTRY POINT! Capitol Hill Day. Read about
an intern who was in charge of developing procedures for removing radioactive materials from a lab and other intriguing assignments, and the program's follow-up effectiveness studies.
ENTRY POINT!, currently in its 12 th year, has placed more than 400 students in internships across the United States, many of whom have gone on to careers in science and engineering. Learn more about ENTRY POINT!
and other AAAS initiatives
that advance the education and careers of individuals with disabilities.
For job listings and career development, see http://www.sciencecareers.org/
Postdoc Conference: Alternate Careers and Interviewing Skills
Life beyond the laboratory was the focus of the 2007 Postdoc Conference and Career Fair held in June and co-sponsored by AAAS and Science.
The conference, attended by more than 425 young scientists, was structured to help postdocs find permanent positions within the Washington, D.C., region -- with corporations, as entrepreneurs, or in nontraditional jobs in government, nonprofits, and writing. Find tips on interviewing
and read about interesting career choices
Attend the International Congress of Genetics,
Held only once every five years, this event will be held next year, 12-17 July, 2008, and is sponsored by AAAS/ Science
. The Congress will present 10 plenary lectures and 54 concurrent symposia with 280 of the world's most prominent genetics researchers focusing on recent developments in genetics, genomic insights, and applications. http://www.geneticsberlin2008.com
Call for Nominations and Applications for AAAS Honors:
Deadline 1 September
Nominations and applications for the prestigious annual AAAS Awards and Prizes may be submitted via the web by 1 September. The awards will be presented during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, 14-18 February 2008. Access information about the nomination process and application procedures
Apply for New NIH Funding of
Exceptionally Innovative Research
Applications are due 24 October for the new US National Institutes of Health (NIH) program, called EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration). The program targets investigators who are testing novel, unconventional hypotheses or are pursuing major methodological or technical challenges. The potential impact of the proposed research must be substantial in both the size of the scientific community affected and the magnitude of its impact. View the full funding opportunity announcement
Mark Your Calendar: Darwin 2009 Festival
On 5-10 July 2009, Cambridge University, UK, will stage a major international festival to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The festival has a core program composed of contributions from the world's leading academics covering all fields of Darwin's work. Provocative and stimulating debates, plays, concerts, and seminars will be aimed at a broad audience interested in Darwin . View the program for the festival
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