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Edward Liebow, COSSA Board Chair, Named 2020 AAAS Fellow

On November 24, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released its list of newly elected AAAS Fellows, a lifetime honor given to select AAAS members who have made significant contributions to the U.S. science and technology enterprise. Among the awardees chosen for 2020 is Dr. Edward Liebow, Executive Director of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and Chair of COSSA’s Board of Directors. Liebow is recognized for his “distinguished contributions to the field of applied anthropology, and particularly for exemplary administration of professional societies and non-profit research and policy institutions.” Liebow became AAA Executive Director in 2013 after an accomplished career with the Battelle Seattle Research Center conducting research and policy analysis on a variety of policy issues affecting disadvantaged communities. He was elected as Chair of COSSA’s Board of Directors in 2019. COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus stated, “I cannot think of a social scientist more deserving of this honor. Ed Liebow is an accomplished researcher, thoughtful leader, and steadfast advocate for the social and behavioral sciences. The COSSA community congratulates you, Ed!”

More information about AAAS Fellows is available on the AAAS website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 24), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

AAAS Forum Focuses on COVID Impacts, Systemic Racism in Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held its annual Science & Technology Policy Forum in a virtual format on October 13-14. The forum featured two days of panels and lectures focused on pressing policy issues facing the sciences. The majority of the first day’s sessions focused on how COVID-19 has impacted science and innovation, the essential role science has played in responding to the pandemic, and lessons that can be drawn from this experience to strengthen the science and technology enterprise going forward. The second day featured a number of sessions on confronting the dark history of racism in science as well as present inequities that continue to persist for people of color working in the sciences. Presenters identified ways the scientific community can move forward to earn back lost trust and to make the scientific enterprise a more equitable endeavor. More information on the sessions is available on the AAAS website, where recordings will be posted.

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Posted in Issue 21 (October 27), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

AAAS Accepting Nominations for 2021 Awards & Prizes

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has announced that the nominations process for several of its 2021 awards and prizes will open on April 15, 2020. The annual AAAS awards and prizes, which are announced at the AAAS Annual Meeting, recognize significant contributors to science and the public’s understanding of science.

The awards and prizes that will accept nominations include:

Award nominations for most awards will be accepted through June 30, 2020 except when noted. More details about each award and application information are available on the AAAS website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 14), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

Sudip Parikh Named Next AAAS CEO

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Sudip Parikh its next CEO effective January 6, 2020. Parikh is currently Senior Vice President at DIA Global, a non-profit organization and publisher that mobilizes life science professionals from across all areas of expertise to engage with patients, peers, and thought leaders. He also worked at the research and development organization Battelle and served as a science advisor and professional staff for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Parikh will succeed Rush Holt, who left the organization in September. AAAS CEO Emeritus Alan Leshner has been Acting CEO in the interim.

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Posted in Issue 22 (November 12), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS Accepting Applications for 2020-21 Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has announced it is seeking applicants for their Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) for the 2020-21 fellowship cycle. Eligible candidates should hold a doctoral level science degree or a master’s in engineering, be a U.S. citizen, have solid STEM credentials, have good communication skills, and desire to enhance federal science policy. Applications will be accepted until November 1. More information about the fellowship can be found on the AAAS website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS Accepting Nominations for 2020 Awards & Prizes

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has opened the nominations process for several of its annual awards and prizes that recognize significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. The awards and prizes currently accepting nominations include: AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy, AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, AAAS Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, AAAS Mentor Awards, AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, John P. McGovern Award Lecture in the Behavioral Sciences, and Science Magazine Awards. More details about each of these awards can be found on the AAAS website. Details about the Science Magazine Awards can be found on the Science Magazine website.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 28), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS Accepting Nominations for Awards and Prizes

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has opened the nominations process for several of its annual awards and prizes that recognize significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. The awards and prizes currently accepting nominations include:

  • AAAS Award for Public Engagement with Science – Recognizes scientists and engineers who have made outstanding contributions to the popularization of science (Nominations accepted through August 1, 2018)
  • AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science – Recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who have demonstrated excellence in their contributions to public engagement with science activities (Nominations accepted through August 1, 2018)
  • AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy – Recognizes an individual, or team of individuals, in the scientific and engineering or foreign affairs communities making an outstanding contribution to furthering science diplomacy (Nominations accepted through August 1, 2018)
  • AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility – Honors scientists, engineers, and their organizations whose exemplary actions have served to foster scientific freedom and responsibility (Nominations accepted through August 31, 2018)
  • AAAS Mentor Award & Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement – Honors individuals who during their careers demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers (Nominations accepted through August 15, 2018)
  • AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize – Awarded to the author or authors of an outstanding paper published in the Research Articles or Reports sections of Science that includes original research data, theory, or synthesis; is a fundamental contribution to basic knowledge or is a technical achievement of far-reaching consequence; and is a first-time publication of the author’s own work (Nominations accepted through June 30, 2018)
  • AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize – Recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the advancement of science as a public servant, or a scientist who has been distinguished for both scientific achievement and other notable services to the scientific community (Nominations accepted through August 1, 2018)

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 6), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

American Academy of Arts and Sciences Issues Perceptions of Science in America Report

On February 12, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a COSSA member, issued a new report assessing the current state of public trust for science in the U.S. Perceptions of Science in America is the first report to be issued as part of the Academy’s ‘Public Face of Science project, a three-year activity that looks to better understand and explain the complex relationship between the scientific community and the public.

Drawing from existing public opinion survey data sources, including government and non-governmental surveys, the report identifies three main takeaways about the state of science among public audiences: (1) confidence in scientific leaders has remained relatively stable over the last 30 years; (2) confidence in science varies based on age, race, educational attainment, region, political ideology, and other characteristics; and (3) there is no single anti-science population, but more research is needed to understand what drives skepticism about specific scientific issues.

Check out the Academy’s website for details.

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Posted in Issue 4 (February 20), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

AAA&S Report Makes Recommendations for Improved U.S. Language Education

On February 28, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAA&S), a COSSA member, released, America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century, the final report of the Commission on Language Learning. A bipartisan group of U.S. Members of Congress requested that AAA&S establish the Commission in order “to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation’s education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs.”

The Commission found that only 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a second language proficiently, a number insufficient to meet either the nation’s current or future demand. At the report release event, Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, Director of the Foreign Service Institute and a Commission member, noted that it is far more cost effective for the U.S. government to hire people who already possess language skills, rather than teaching those skills to its employees. Individuals who can speak a second language exhibit improved cognitive skills and are faster at learning additional languages.

The Commission offered five recommendations for increasing language education, with the ultimate goal of exposing 100 percent of U.S. students to a second language. Paul LeClerc, the Commission’s Chairman and Director of the Columbia University Global Center in Paris, said that a lack of language teachers is the main obstacle to this goal. The report’s first recommendation is increasing the number of language teachers in U.S. schools, which would require considering language instruction as an education priority, equivalent to math education. The Commission suggested two research areas that would aid in this increase: an investigation of the state of language programs at a school district level and evaluation of using digital technology in language instruction. The report also suggests developing higher education consortia to encourage advanced language study and a student loan forgiveness program for language teachers.

The report also recommends increased support for heritage language speakers (those who grow up with a second language at home), Native American languages, study abroad opportunities, and partnerships between public and private language education stakeholders. The Commission released a companion report, The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait, in December 2016, which contains data backing the final report.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s spring intern, Laila Rosenthal of American University.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 7), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

New AAAS Study Investigates the Social Responsibilities of Scientists

The notion that scientists have a responsibility to society that goes beyond their responsibilities to the profession is long-standing. While there is a growing literature concerning the issues encapsulated by the phrase “social responsibility of scientists,” a review of that literature reveals many and sometimes competing views. What is more, to date there has been no empirical basis on which to define the content and scope of such social responsibilities.

It is within this context that the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition, of which COSSA is a member, and the AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program decided to develop and distribute an online questionnaire to scientists, engineers and health professionals globally. The primary aim of this preliminary investigation was to elicit their perspectives on the nature and scope of their responsibilities and to identify any potential similarities and differences in perspectives according to multiple demographic variables. Read a summary of the report’s major findings or the full report. Please direct any inquiries about the report to srhrl@aaas.org.

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Posted in Issue 6 (April 7), Update, Volume 34 (2015)

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