In this issue:
Message to Members: Advancing Science Globally in 2008
News to Note: New Science Editor, Breakthrough of the Year, AAAS President-Elect, http://election2008.aaas.org/, and more…
Advancing Science, Serving Society: Symposium on Human Rights, Washington Post Collaboration, Wrapup of the Grand Challenges Series
Science Careers: Annual Meeting Career Fair and Career Workshops, Science Careers Best of 2007, Science Feature: Academic Careers
Announcements: Annual Meeting Registration and Events Open to the Public, Award and Internship Deadlines, STKE becomes Science Signaling, and other announcements
Message to Members
Advancing Science Globally in 2008
Dear AAAS Member,
Global climate change. World energy demands. International security and stability. The health and well-being of people everywhere on our planet. These are the challenges requiring cooperation among scientific disciplines and collaboration among developed and developing nations. They will frame the conversation among an interdisciplinary, international mix of scientists and engineers, along with educators and policy makers, during our Annual Meeting, 14-18 February in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Science and Technology from a Global Perspective" will open with the AAAS President’s Address by Nobel laureate David Baltimore and the Invited Address from His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, whose goal is to make his country a sub-Saharan technology hub. Plenary lectures include addresses by Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation, and Nicholas Negroponte, Founder and Chairman, One Laptop per Child. A plenary lecture panel on global health challenges includes Harvard University’s Jim Yong Kim and United Nations officials Peter Piot and Timothy Wirth. Topical lectures begin with a panel presenting a trans-Atlantic perspective on fostering innovation, with Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, European Commission; Mark Fishman, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research; and Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. At the Annual Meeting website, you can see details of these and other lectures and more than 150 symposia, as well as seminars, poster sessions, special events, and exhibits.
During 2008, with the support of our members, we will continue to seek new global initiatives such as our recent landmark agreements with the Chinese scientific community and the addition of multilanguage portals on EurekAlert!, our science news service. Thank you.
Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS
P.S. You have until this Friday, January 18, to register online for the Annual Meeting, after which you may still register on site. I look forward to seeing you there. www.aaasmeetings.org/registration/
News to Note
Bruce Alberts Named New Editor-in-Chief of Science
Beginning 1 March, Bruce Alberts, president-emeritus of the US National Academy of Sciences and former chair of the National Research Council (1993-2005), and professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, will assume the helm of Science.
The 18 th editor-in-chief of the journal since its founding in 1880, Alberts was unanimously selected by a committee of top scientists formed by the AAAS Board of Directors. He succeeds Donald Kennedy who has distinguished himself as editor since June 2000 and will retire at the end of February. Read more
Science Announces 2007 Breakthrough of the Year: Human Genetic Variation
After years of research into genetic similarities among people and even apes, research advances on several fronts during 2007 defined the degree to which genomes differ from one human to another. This breakthrough represents a conceptual leap that allows discovery of individual risk for disease and specific medical treatment. Science
recognized "Human Genetic Variation" as the leading breakthrough of 2007 and cited nine other significant accomplishments in its 21 December issue. Read more, access Spanish, French, Japanese, and Chinese translations of the story, and see the full Science report
, freely accessible to the public.
Note: Many of you have asked if you can purchase the shirt featured on the cover of the 21 December issue. Not yet! We are working to see if we can have one created.
Nobel Laureate Peter Agre to Serve as AAAS President-Elect
Last fall, AAAS members voted for new officers whose terms will start in February at the end of the 2008 Annual Meeting. Peter C. Agre, a chemist and Vice Chancellor for S&T at the Duke University School of Medicine, has been chosen to serve as president-elect. Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of aquaporins, the key proteins that transport water across cell membranes. He succeeds the current president-elect, James J. McCarthy, who will begin a one-year term as AAAS president. See the full election results
for general offices and section officers.
AAAS Launches US Presidential Election Website
As the nomination process builds to high intensity, the new website provides voters with a resource to weigh the candidates’ S&T positions and the research community with a vehicle to inform the candidates on emerging issues. The site features position statements, news stories, published commentary, reports from policy organizations, and a listserv for individuals interested in receiving updates on new postings. Access Science and Technology in the 2008 Presidential Election and check the comprehensive section on five basic S&T issues to watch during the election process at http://election2008.aaas.org/
AAAS Chief International Officer Named to Agent Orange Panel
Vaughan Turekian has been named to the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, a high level committee funded by the Ford Foundation to explore issues related to the use of herbicides during the Vietnam War. Turekian, a geochemist, will join the group in Vietnam in late January to visit sites of Agent Orange impact and to learn about areas where science and scientists can offer help. Exposure to the millions of gallons of herbicides sprayed on Vietnamese lands by US military forces between 1961 and 1971 has been linked to an increased incidence of cancer, birth defects, and other medical problems. Read more
AAAS Science Diplomacy Pioneer Fosters Bond with Iran
Forty years ago during the Cold War, science diplomat Norman Neureiter navigated the climate of conflict to build better US relations with the Soviet Union and China. Today, he is director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy and once again is fostering scientific cooperation--this time with Iran. Neureiter is working in concert with the National Academies, other US science interests, and colleagues in Iran, to lay the groundwork for future S&T collaboration. Read the full Q&A
AAAS Disappointed with US R&D Funding
In a 20 December statement
, AAAS said: "Today, our nation’s ability to invest in innovation and to enhance the economy, health, education, and quality of life for all Americans has received a serious setback." The AAAS analysis of the omnibus appropriations bill approved by the US Congress shows that federal investment in basic and applied research for 2008 would grow just 1.1 percent, less than inflation and less than earlier congressional proposals. The federal research investment would decline in real terms for the fourth year in a row, according to the analysis. Read more and access the details on the R&D funding levels for the various federal agencies on the website of the R&D Budget and Policy Program
AAAS Analysis Shows the Return of Budget Earmarks to US Federal Agency Appropriations
A full analysis of US spending bills for fiscal year 2008 shows nearly US$4.5 billion in federal R&D earmarks, after a one-year moratorium for most domestic earmarks during the 2007 fiscal year. In a tight budget environment with disappointing total R&D investment, these earmarks once again crowd out hoped-for increases in competitively awarded research programs. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation remain earmark-free while energy and agriculture are the most heavily earmarked domestic R&D departments. Read more and access the analysis
including a detailed spreadsheet.
AAAS Congressional Briefing Urges Action on Biosecurity-Related Drugs
Biosecurity policy experts cautioned that US preparedness for bioterror attacks is being stymied by a lack of sufficient funding for the development of medical countermeasures and the slow, overly cautious federal contracting process. The late November briefing to congressional staff members pointed out that, of the US$1.07 billion in funds authorized for the 2006-08 fiscal years, Congress had appropriated only US$99 million to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority which is responsible for distributing funding. Read more
and access BARDA’s strategic plan to obtain medical countermeasures.
AAAS Op-Ed: "Don’t Mess with Science Standards"
Following the recent forced resignation of Chris Comer, a science curriculum director at the Texas Education Agency (TEA), AAAS CEO Alan Leshner spoke out in an 11 December commentary published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Leshner countered the TEA’s rationale that Comer’s forwarding of an e-mail about a lecture by Barbara Forrest, author of the book Inside Creationism’s Trojan Horse,
went against the agency policy of "remaining neutral." He urged science education officials not to "remain neutral about efforts to insert religious viewpoints into science classrooms" lest they "wind up confusing students about the nature of science versus religion." Read the full text of the commentary
NPR Radio Program Airs Evolution-Creationism Issue
The National Academy of Sciences’ third edition of its book, Science, Evolution, and Creationism
was the focus of discussion on the 7 January edition of the Diane Rehm Show (broadcast from Washington, D.C., and carried nationally on many NPR stations) AAAS CEO Alan Leshner, one of four guests, joined a science teacher, a research fellow from the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life, and a representative of the intelligent design movement. Listen
to the complete program.
Advancing Science, Serving Society
AAAS Symposium Explores the Role of Science in Human Rights
During a symposium held at AAAS on International Human Rights Day, distinguished scientists and lawyers urged the scientific community to address a range of human rights issues. Among the topics discussed were protests against the suppression and detention of scientists around the world and the US government’s obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. The use of torture, now under debate in the United States, was cited as one of the clearest violations of human rights. Read more about the remarks of representatives from a range of disciplines including science, medicine, law, psychology, and anthropology.
The AAAS Science and Human Rights Program, which hosted the symposium, is building the Science and Human Rights Coalition, a network of science associations committed to providing scientific expertise and support to the human rights community. A recent example of the use of scientific technology to support human rights efforts is the geospatial tracking of abuses in Zimbabwe, Myanmar (Burma), and elsewhere. Read more about the program.
Washington Post Debuts New AAAS- Science Feature
As part of a new AAAS- Science feature, the 13 January edition of the Washington Post included an Outlook section essay by Science author André Bornemann of the University of Leipzig, Germany. Bornemann’s research, published in the 11 January issue of Science, suggests that glaciers may have covered more than half of Antarctica during the Cretaceous "super-greenhouse" period, even though crocodiles roamed the Arctic and tropical sea surface temperatures soared to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees F warmer than today). The Washington Post feature, tentatively planned as a bi-monthly column, will explore a "big idea" from science and why it matters to society. Science reporter Richard Kerr’s article on Bornemann’s paper and other information is available at the new Science website for the features.
Final Panels Wrap Up the Series "Science and Society: Grand Challenges"
The third panel in the November series focused on global energy management. Coming from two vastly different perspectives, AAAS Board Chair John Holdren and ExxonMobil executive Lori Ryerkerk agreed that there must be significant investment into new energy-supply technologies and improved energy efficiency in transport, buildings, and industry, and urged policy makers and business to work together. Read more about the challenges of the next century and new technologies that will allow more efficient burning of fossil fuels.
During the final panel, US weapons experts explored nuclear risk, emphasizing that the danger inherent in nuclear arms far exceeds other weapons of mass destruction. Joseph Cirincione and Linton Brooks explored tactics to reduce such weapons. Read more and view the video.
The series, "Science and Society: Grand Challenges," was sponsored by the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy (CSTSP); Georgetown University’s Program on Science in the Public Interest; and the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Read more about CSTSP.
Read the latest career features from Science
Careers. You can also search jobs, get career advice, find grant information and much more on www.sciencecareers.org - all for free.
AAAS Annual Meeting: Science Careers Workshops
Join 60- and 90-minute workshops covering career transition, alternative careers, internships, fellowships, and much more during the AAAS Annual Meeting in February. Go to www.aaas.org/meetings
to browse workshop sessions and plan your itinerary.
AAAS Annual Meeting: Science Career Fair
On Friday 15 February, Science Careers will host its annual career fair during the AAAS Annual Meeting. Come meet top recruiters face-to-face and explore career opportunities for all levels of scientists. More details
Looking Back: Best Science Careers Articles of 2007
The annual compilation of the top articles of the year by Science
Careers editors includes nuts-and-bolts career advice, inspiring profiles of young scientists making their mark or overcoming barriers, and an unvarnished look at the state of the job market for scientists worldwide. Access the Best of 2007
Science Special Feature: Faculty Careers
The 25 January issue of Science
includes the special feature "Building a Successful Academic Career," which offers advice from seasoned professionals on obtaining funding, managing grants, mentoring, and more. This feature is also accessible online at www.ScienceCareers.org. Recruiting faculty? You can announce your university’s openings to more than 95,500 Ph.D. scientists who are Science
readers. For recruitment information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special AAAS Membership/2008 Annual Meeting Offer: Deadline 18 January
Do you have colleagues who are not yet members of AAAS? If they register in advance for the 2008 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, they will receive a one-year membership to AAAS for free, along with all member benefits including a one-year subscription to the journal Science,
access to Science
and all of its archives online, and access to Science
Express. International members will receive Science
Digital. This offer is good for advance registration only, and expires on 18 January. Only nonmembers qualify. Share the news now. Register for "Science and Technology from a Global Perspective,"
( http://www.aaasmeetings.org/registration/ )
Family Science Days and the AAAS Town Hall -- Public Events at the AAAS Annual Meeting
On 16-17 February, AAAS’s popular, free Family Science Days
will be held in the exhibit hall of the AAAS Annual Meeting in the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Families will find fun lab demonstrations, kid-friendly chemistry projects, and other exciting activities.
On 17 February, a free AAAS Town Hall, "Understanding Obesity and Childhood Nutrition,"
will engage the public. Teachers, school health professionals, scientists, parents, and students are invited to take part.
Attend Donald Kennedy’s Lecture on "Science, Policy, and the Media"
On 13 February, Donald Kennedy, outgoing Editor-in-Chief of Science
and President Emeritus of Stanford University, will speak at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kennedy co-chairs an Academy project that is studying how the media cover science and technology. The program will be held at the Academy’s headquarters, 136 Irving Street. This event is free but tickets are required for the 5:30 pm reception and 6 pm program. To register, respond by 8 February to the Academy’s events office at +1 617-576-5032, e-mail email@example.com
, or send a fax to +1 617-576-5050.
New AAAS/ Science Webinar: miRNAs and Cancer, February 20, 2008
at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time ( 9am PST, 5pm GMT ).
The role of miRNAs in human disease, including cancer, is now well established. Many questions remain however, such as precisely how miRNAs exert their effects, whether they make suitable biomarkers, and how they could be applied therapeutically. Join our three expert panelists as they discuss current research on miRNAs important in tumorigenesis, as well as techniques for miRNA discovery and profiling.
Time is running out!
Register today: www.sciencemag.org/webinar
Produced by the AAAS/ Science
Business Office and sponsored by Stratagene, an Agilent Technologies company.
Nominate High School Teachers for the AAAS Leadership Prize: Deadline 2 March
US high school science department chairs and administrators are urged to nominate qualified science teachers to receive the 2008 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Science Teachers, established through generous support from AAAS member Edith D. Neimark. This award recognizes a high school science teacher who has contributed significantly to the AAAS goal of advancing science education by developing and implementing an innovative and demonstrably effective strategy, activity, or program. Prize details, nomination forms and application forms
. For more information, contact Lester Matlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access Multilanguage Portals on EurekAlert!
The global news service operated by AAAS has added a Chinese language portal
offering current science news press releases and weekly highlights from the journal Science.
EurekAlert! also provides access to German, French, Japanese, and Spanish portals
. The site is a media and public resource for research news focused on all areas of science, supplied by universities, medical centers, journals, government agencies, corporations, and other organizations.
Minority Science Writers Internship: Deadline 1 March
Science is a global activity, but the demographics of the journalists who cover it do not reflect that diversity. AAAS offers the Minority Science Writers Internship for students who are interested in journalism as a career and who want to learn about science writing. Interns work for 10 weeks at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of Science
magazine, the largest interdisciplinary journal in the world. The application for the paid internship is posted at www.aaas.org/mswi.
Candidates must be college undergraduates at the time of their application.
STKE Renamed Science Signaling
On 8 January, STKE became Science Signaling,
continuing to provide users with the same useful content and features. In addition, peer-reviewed, original research will appear beginning in September. Science
will issue a call for papers and provide more information about the process during the next two months. Science Signaling
will be issued a new ISSN number and will change to a more traditional citation style; the 8 January issue is Science Signaling,
Volume 1, Number 1. Science Signaling
will be handled by our current editorial team: editor Nancy Gough, and associate editors Elizabeth Adler and John Foley. For the time being, users can access Science Signaling
content on http://stke.sciencemag.org/.
Changes to the URL will be announced soon.
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