In this issue:
Message to Members: Report from the 37th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy
News to Note:
--Reports from the AAAS Forum on S&T Policy
--NSF, AAAS Release Guide to "Measuring Diversity"
--AAAS Seminar Cites Threat to Endangered Species Act
--AAAS Decries "Controversial Issue" Approach to Climate Change Instruction
--Cutting Edge Video Series
--Discount on Dell Products
--Give Science at Special Gift Rates
--New Booklet "The Microbial Carbon Pump"
--Save the Date: 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting
--AAAS Regional Division Meetings
--Science Columnist Honored for HIV/AIDS Reports
--Science SPORE Award Winner
--Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture
--AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting
--SACNAS Leadership Institute
--Project 2061 Assessment Workshop
--GE & Science Prize Application Deadline
--2011 AAAS Awards Nomination Deadlines
--Join the President's Circle
Message to Members
Report from the 37th Annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy
The nation's premier annual S&T policy conference, attended by some 475 U.S. and foreign leaders from government, education, and business, was held 5-6 May in Washington, D.C.
Federal investment in S&T and U.S. innovation provided the focus, and AAAS President Nina V. Fedoroff's opening remarks defined the challenge: "The United States has been a global leader in science and technology, as well as innovation and entrepreneurship. But the world is changing. Will we continue to be leaders? That's what's at stake right now."
In the keynote address, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John P. Holdren noted that despite significant budget and political pressures, President Barack Obama's 2012 budget proposal pushes for increases in many R&D programs to put basic research back on track in order to maintain U.S. leadership in an increasingly competitive world.
Other renowned speakers included Charles M. Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, who warned that "If we do not invest vigorously in basic research, I think an economic downslide is assured;" Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who addressed the interplay between science and policy in a study following the tsunami-triggered accident in Japan; and Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who discussed what he has seen over the 30 years he has been working in HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and treatment. (See News from the AAAS Forum, below, for reports of these and other sessions.)
Considering that R&D drives innovation and competitiveness and resulting economic growth and societal well-being, data included in the AAAS Report XXXVI: Research and Development in FY 2012
provide an urgent call to action. The figures, which measured national R&D investment as a percentage of GDP, show dramatic year-by-year increases in the Asian nations of China, Taiwan, and South Korea since 1995, while U.S. investment has remained relatively flat.
Providing independent, current analysis of federal funding trends and budget legislation as a service to the science and policymaking communities has been the mission of the AAAS Research and Development Budget and Policy Program since 1976. You can access the just-released AAAS Report XXXVI
and information about other AAAS Science and Policy Programs at www.aaas.org/spp/rd/rdreport2012/
Your membership supports these and other critical programs of AAAS as we work to advance science and serve society. Thank you.
Alan I. Leshner, CEO, AAAS
News to Note
News from the 37th Annual AAAS Forum on S&T Policy
To access presentations, video highlights, and audio recordings visit our website
White House S&T Adviser: R&D Challenge and Commitment
NSF, AAAS Release Guide to "Measuring Diversity"
John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and a former AAAS president, delivered the keynote address focusing on the enormous challenge of "sustaining support for S&T in a regime of overall budget cuts." He discussed President Barack Obama's plan to press for increased R&D funding in 2012 as essential to creating jobs and long-term economic strength, and also detailed the Administration's emphasis on education, energy and climate, international cooperation, and scientific integrity. Read more
National Academy of Engineering President: Global Competitiveness
Charles M. Vest delivered the annual William D. Carey Lecture, saying the United States must quickly take steps in education and research to remain competitive in the global economy of the 21st century. Vest stressed the urgent need to stop shortchanging children by failing to provide world-class education, while also investing vigorously in basic research to increase the "transformational breakthroughs…to carve out job-producing space, especially at the high end." Read more
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman: Lessons from Fukushima
Gregory B. Jaczko told his Forum audience that the tsunami-triggered accident at a Japanese nuclear facility was a "seminal event in the history of nuclear power," likely to provide safety lessons for regulators in the United States as well as Japan. The NRC, which is charged by law with providing "reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health and safety," is conducting a comprehensive study to determine whether any permanent regulatory changes are needed for U.S. plants. Read more
NIAID Director: A Career in HIV Research
Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recounted his concern as a young researcher about a new disease that ultimately became one of the "most impactful pandemics in the history of our civilization" and his early decision to make HIV/AIDS his focus. Fauci said the NIH investment in research and treatment has been "staggering" but well-spent as, over the last 30 years, the average term of survival has increased from 27 weeks to, according to mathematical models, an additional 52 years. Read more
Forum Session: Budget and Policy Issues
Reiterating the challenges to R&D voiced by presidential adviser John P. Holdren in his keynote address, top budget and policy analysts forecast significant obstacles in 2012 and the next several years. The experts discussed a range of issues Affecting the U.S. economy and the research enterprise including sustaining the recovery, the growing deficit, maintaining American S&T leadership, and the changing demographics of the U.S. population. Read more
Forum Panel: Communicating Science
A panel of researchers and communications specialists stressed that effective public dissemination of scientific information requires engaging people in ways that are relevant to their own lives. Framing messages for many different publics with varying levels of sophistication and motivation is key, providing a storyline that addresses why a particular issue matters. Another critical element is illustrating the point with visual techniques that can aid recall. Read more
Forum Session: Gulf Oil Spill Perspectives
Public health experts addressed the science and policy perspectives of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, saying that U.S. efforts to study health effects got underway months later than desirable and may now have limited value. The study of more than 50,000 cleanup workers was not funded until six months after the blowout and researchers did not get into the field until January, making data on chemical exposure difficult to gather. However, saying that serious long-term toxicological consequences would be surprising, the experts recommended research into the more worrisome mental and social health effects. Read more
Forum Panel: A National Innovation Strategy
A panel of experts in policy, economics, and innovation called for the quick development of a U.S. innovation strategy to remain competitive in the global economy, outlining the roles that academia, industry, and government can play. The panelists said elements of an effective strategy would include science, technology, and economic policy to promote the development and use of new products, processes, and services -- implemented by a regional networks of organizations with one national agency to take the lead. Read more
Forum Panel: U.S. Research Universities
Leading academics and scientists warned that dramatic reductions in state funding, uncertainty in the federal budget, and reduced endowments are pressures that could undermine a system that has made public and private U.S. universities a dominant global force in doctoral education, research, innovation, and economic growth. The panelists noted that universities conduct 56 percent of the nation's basic research, the underpinning of innovations that drive the economy, calling for stabilized long-term funding while also urging universities to renew their commitment to excellence and efficiency. Read more
In an effort to stem the high rate of students from underrepresented minority groups that leave before completing advanced degrees, the new 83-page guide offers detailed advice and practical tools to help administrators evaluate their efforts to recruit and support minority graduate students. "Measuring Diversity: An Evaluation Guide for STEM Graduate Program Leaders" emphasizes collecting and using the right data to determine what is and what is not working, with the goal to retain significant talent and potential in a workforce as diverse as the U.S. population. Read more
and access the guide, based on work with the National Science Foundation Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP).
AAAS Seminar Cites Threat to Endangered Species Act
A recent congressional rider to a federal budget bill that removed federal protections for gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains marked the first time an animal or plant has been removed from the endangered species list by Congress. During a seminar hosted by the AAAS Science & Technology Fellowships, former fellow Sylvia Fallon, now a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, predicted the start of a more activist role by Congress to directly intervene in the administration of the Endangered Species Act, which was passed in 1973 with overwhelming support. Joe Roman, a former fellow who is now a conservation biologist at the University of Vermont, presented a compelling case for enforcing the act, including the fact that endangered species often are surrogates for declining ecosystems. Read more
AAAS Decries "Controversial Issue" Approach to Climate Change Instruction
Expressing concern about plans to treat climate change as a "controversial issue" in advanced placement (AP) environmental science classes, a 1 June letter from Alan I. Leshner stressed that climate change is real and "contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science." The letter to the board of Southern California's Los Alamitos United School District followed a newly released policy instructing that these classes present "multiple perspectives" on "a topic on which opposing views have been promulgated," including climate change. Read more
and access the full letter.
Introducing the Cutting Edge Video Series
The Cutting Edge is a new set of video lectures produced exclusively by AAAS offering members insight into emerging trends and advances in science. Five fields were chosen for the premiere lecture: organic chemistry, condensed matter physics, computing/Internet, astrophysics, and paleoanthropology.
Watch the lectures
Careers, published by AAAS, offers many resources to help you advance your career. Whether you're seeking a new job, advice on career advancement in your chosen field, or ways to stay current on industry trends, you'll find helpful tools on the site -- all for free. Thousands of searchable jobs from academia, industry, and government are available as well as job alert e-mails, career advice, a resume/CV Database, webinars, and more. Visit ScienceCareers.org
Check out recent articles from Science Careers
-- From the Lab to the Clinic and Back: Translational Research Training and Careers. Read more
-- Translating Cancer Research in the New Millennium. Read more
Member Discount on Dell Products
Dell and AAAS have teamed up to offer AAAS members discounts across the Dell product range. For detailed information on discounts available in the United States and other countries, go to http://membercentral.aaas.org
Give the Gift of Science and AAAS Membership
Give a colleague, friend, or student 51 issues of Science, Science Online and full member benefits and receive our free "Scientists on Vacation" shirt. http://promo.aaas.org/gift
New AAAS Program on Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law
Science Correspondent Honored for HIV/AIDS Reports
On June 1, 2011, AAAS formally launched its new Program on Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law, a merger of two former programs--Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law and Science and Human Rights. The new SRHRL Program will continue many of the core activities of those programs, and will also explore new areas of synergy between science, ethics, law and human rights. For more details, visit the new Program's web site at
Read the New Science/AAAS Booklet on "The Microbial Carbon Pump"
Microbes have been found to inhabit all parts of the globe. Recently, it has been discovered that they may play a critical role in the sequestration of carbon in the oceans through a system termed the microbial carbon pump (MCP). Learn all about the MCP and its potential effect on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and the global climate in this collection of previously published articles from Science, coupled with 10 new review manuscripts from leading international scientists studying this phenomenon.
Access this free online ebooklet by going to http://science.imirus.com/Mpowered/book/vscim10/i2/p1
Save the Date for the Olympiad of Science
2012 AAAS Annual Meeting, 16-20 February, Vancouver, BC
Theme: "Flattening the World: Building the Global Knowledge Society"
Attend this one-of-a-kind event that attracts scientists and engineers from around the globe who are interested in the influence of science and technology on how we live today and tomorrow. In a symposium-focused environment, about 700 experts will present new and exciting advances and developments in their fields as well as in multidisciplinary research to thousands of scientists, engineers, educators, and policy-makers, all of whom will interact with each another and with hundreds of members from national and international media. Sign up for updates: www.aaas.org/meetings.
Attend Your AAAS Regional Division Meeting
Four regional divisions of AAAS carry out the objectives of the association in their respective territories, focusing on science-related matters of local concern. Upcoming meetings:
Josh Cohen's package of reports on Eastern Europe's HIV/AIDS epidemic has received the American Society of Microbiology's 2011 Public Communications Award. The wide-ranging collection of stories, published in the 9 July 2010 issue of Science
, examines the epidemic in Russia and Ukraine, from research, prevention, and treatment perspectives to social issues. Cohen highlighted progressive efforts to adopt effective strategies in the only region in the world that still has a growing incidence of HIV/AIDS. Read more
and access the reports.
Popular Chemistry Videos Win Science SPORE Award
Playful mischief and serious science combine to entertain and educate in a series of wildly popular videos produced by University of Nottingham professor Martyn Poliakoff and video journalist Brady Haran and viewed in 200 countries. Recognized for its innovative approach, The Periodic Table of Videos has won the Science
Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE). The video series started by featuring each element -- with demonstrations such as what happens to a cheeseburger lowered halfway into a beaker of hydrochloric acid -- and continues to grow with chemistry topics from current events. Read more
and access the videos and an article about the project in the 27 May issue of Science
2011 Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture: 21 June
Registration opens at 3:30 pm and the lecture begins at 4 pm, at AAAS Headquarters. Dr. Pamela C. Ronald, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, will present keynote remarks on the role that food, agriculture, and natural resources play in providing for a secure food supply and a sustainable economy. To view the program and to register for the Lecture, go to their website
. For more information, please contact Anne Moraske at firstname.lastname@example.org
AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition Meeting: 14-15 July
You are invited to participate in the upcoming meeting, which will open on the evening of 14 July with a viewing of the film "After Innocence," chronicling the stories of eight individuals exonerated following the application of DNA and other scientific analysis. The film will be followed by an interview with three experts in the role of science in the criminal justice system. On 15 July, the meeting will offer panel discussions, working meetings, and training workshops on human rights issues central to the mission of the Coalition, including: "Evaluating the US Human Rights Record: The Universal Periodic Review," "STEM Education: Diversity, Human Rights and New Curricula," and "The Right to Benefit from Science: Engaging Your Association in the UN Process."
Register and view the agenda
SACNAS Leadership Institute: 25-29 July
AAAS and the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists will host their third annual Leadership Institute, 25-29 July at AAAS. The Leadership Institute, supported by NIH/NIGMS, prepares 30 early and mid-career scientists for active roles as leaders in their communities. Applications for the 2012 session will open early next year. Learn more about the collaboration here
Project 2061's Three-Day Assessment Workshop: 12-14 October
Held in Washington, D.C., the new assessment workshop, "Developing and Using Assessments Aligned to Science Learning Goals," is designed to introduce teachers, researchers, and assessment specialists to Project 2061's approach to science assessment and criteria and procedures for developing effective tools closely aligned to science ideas. Early bird discounts are available. Register now.
Apply for the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists: Deadline 1 August
The GE & Science
Prize for Young Life Scientists provides support for outstanding Ph.D. graduates from around the world who received their degrees in the general area of molecular biology. The prize is US$25,000. Eligibility, entry, and judging information
Nomination Deadlines for 2011 AAAS Awards
AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize: 30 June
The AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by Affymetrix, acknowledges an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science. For more information contact Alison Crawford at (202) 326-6560, e-mail email@example.com.
AAAS Mentor Awards: 31 July
The AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award and the AAAS Mentor Award honor individuals who, during their careers, demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the science and engineering Ph.D. work force. These groups include: women of all racial or ethnic groups; African American, Native American, and Hispanic men; and people with disabilities. For more information, contact Brittany Taggart at (202) 326-6671, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Yolanda George at (202) 326-6677, e-mail email@example.com.
AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards: 1 August
The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, endowed by The Kavli Foundation, represent the ultimate achievement in the field of science reporting. Prizes are awarded in eight categories: large and small newspapers, magazines, television spot news/feature reporting, television in-depth reporting, radio, online media outlets, and children's science news. More information.
AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science: 15 August
The AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the "popularization of science." For more information contact Rahman A. Culver at (202) 326-6645, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award: 1 September
The AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award honors a public servant for sustained exceptional contributions to advancing science or a scientist or engineer for a distinguished career of both scientific achievement and other notable services to the scientific community. More information.
AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy: 1 September
The AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy honors an individual or limited number of individuals working together in the scientific or engineering community for making an outstanding contribution to furthering science diplomacy. For more information contact Linda Stroud at (202) 326-6659, e-mail email@example.com.
AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility: 1 September
The AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility honors scientists, engineers, and their organizations whose exemplary actions, sometimes taken at significant personal cost, have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility. For more information contact Deborah Runkle at (202) 326-6794, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books: 1 September
The AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books, sponsored by Subaru, celebrates outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults. For more information contact Heather Malcomson at (202) 326-6646, e-mail email@example.com.
Join the AAAS President's Circle
AAAS's undertaking to advance science in the service of society is an enormous one, especially now as we are increasingly called upon by the administration and Congress, the science community, and the public to speak up for science on a host of global issues. You can help to ensure that the voice of science -- your voice -- is heard by becoming a part of the President's Circle today with a philanthropic contribution of $500 or more. You will receive updates about our activities and invitations to AAAS events. Visit us online at www.tinyurl.com/dye8kn or call +1-202-326-6636 for more information.
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Meet Up at Upcoming Events
Science/AAAS will have a booth at the following events. Stop by to take advantage of the event's special AAAS membership renewal rate and pick up your member pin.
FEBS Congress, 25-30 June, Torino, Italy
BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), 27-30 June, Washington, D.C., USA
Bio Expo and Bio Forum Japan, 29 June-1 July, Tokyo, Japan
IBRO World Congress of Neuroscience, 14-18 July, Florence, Italy
Find Other Meetings and Events
Search our database of meetings, conferences, career fairs, career workshops, courses, and awards.
6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011)
The world's largest open scientific conference on HIV/AIDS – the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) – will be held in Rome, Italy from 17 - 20 July 2011. The event is organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS), in partnership with Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian National Institute of Health), which is the leading technical and scientific body of the Italian National Health Service.
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