What we're doing
AAAS is taking action—from leading workshops to testifying on the hill, AAAS remains a force for public discussion and evidence-based policy:
Scientific progress depends on openness, transparency, and the free flow of ideas; these principles have helped the United States to attract and richly benefit from international scientific talent. Overly restrictive visa policies threaten U.S. leadership in advancing scientific knowledge and innovation.
“Dear Assistant Secretary Risch,
We, the 55 undersigned organizations that, in turn, represent over 1.5 million members combined, write to express our concerns regarding the Notice of Proposed Information Collection…”
As reported in this week's AAAS Policy Alert 5-1-18.pdf, the Environmental Protection Agency recently posted in the Federal Register for public comment a proposed rule that would require the EPA “to ensure that the regulatory science underlying its action is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.” The agency is proposing that data, associated protocols, computer codes and models, recorded factual materials, and “detailed descriptions of how to access and use such information” be publicly available for it to be utilized in EPA policies and regulations. The proposed rule notes that information made public must be “consistent with law” and should protect privacy, national and homeland security interests and confidential business information. AAAS CEO Rush Holt issued a statement expressing concern that this “proposal appears to be an attempt to remove valid and relevant scientific evidence from the rule-making process.” In addition, the journal Science, along with other scholarly journals, issued a statement in response to Administrator Pruitt’s assertion that the proposed EPA policy reflects the standards of peer-reviewed scientific journals. Public comments are due May 30, 2018, and AAAS encourages its members to review the proposal and submit comments as appropriate.
AAAS Statement on Travel of Chinese Researchers to the United States
“Scientific progress depends on openness, transparency and the free flow of ideas; these principles have helped the United States to attract and benefit from international scientific talent. Students and scientists from other countries strengthen U.S. innovation. We are concerned about news reports that the U.S. administration is considering further restrictions on visas that could limit the travel of Chinese students and scholars from China to the United States. To remain the world leader in advancing scientific knowledge and innovation while ensuring national security, the U.S. science and technology enterprise must continue to capitalize on the international and multicultural environment within which it operates. We strongly recommend that the administration work with the scientific community to assess and develop potential policy actions that advance our nation’s prosperity. Where specific and confirmed espionage is occurring, action must be taken, but obstructing scientific exchange based on non-specific concerns that could be applied to broad swaths of people is ill-conceived and damaging to American interests.”
– Rush Holt, chief executive officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
We are writing in response to a proposed rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 24 April 2018 press release (1). The release reads, “The rule will ensure that the regulatory science underlying Agency actions is fully transparent, and that underlying scientific information is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent validation.”
Data sharing is a feature that contributes to the robustness of published scientific results. Many peer-reviewed scientific journals have recently adopted policies that support data sharing, consistent with the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) standards. These standards, however, recognize the array of workflows across scientific fields and make the case for data sharing at different levels of stringency; in not every case can all data be fully shared. Exceptional circumstances, where data cannot be shared openly with all, include data sets featuring personal identifiers.
When scientists deliver talks to middle and high school students for AAAS’ Classroom Science Days, everyone learns something, students and scientists alike.
This year’s event, which took place in Texas in February in conjunction with the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, brought 32 scientists into middle and high school classrooms across Austin, Dallas and Houston reaching more than 5,000 students – a significant jump from the 20 scientists who participated in Boston in 2017.
The goals of the 25-year-old program are multi-faceted, said AAAS Project Director Rebekah Corlew. One aspect of Classroom Science Days is to connect underserved students with practicing scientists. Meeting scientists – and learning about their successes and struggles – can help students see themselves as future scientists, Corlew said.
Science enthusiasts gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, April 14th, joined by supporters at some 230 satellite rallies in towns and cities across the globe for what was an endorsement of scientific evidence and a celebration of its discoveries.
“The scientific community is over the moon with the bipartisan omnibus bill in Congress that significantly increases funding for research and development.
While our nation considers how to address gun violence, it is important to remember that scientific research can help us understand risk factors and the impacts of gun policy interventions at federal, state and local levels,” said Rush Holt, chief executive officer of AAAS, in a March 13 letter sent to President Donald Trump and congressional leadership.
Take action now
On-call Scientists connects scientists, engineers, and health professionals interested in volunteering their skills and knowledge with human rights organizations that are in need of technical expertise. Find out more!
A major goal of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program is to grow a network of scientists, public communicators, organizations and faith communities who are interested in constructive dialogue and engagement on science and society topics.
Interested in joining the network? Learn more!
Are you interested in broadening participation within STEM? Join the NSF INCLUDES Open Forum on Trellis to participate in a community of practice where we’re sharing historic documents, current best practices and much more.
Have you altered anything about your life or work? Do you think the March for Science achieved its goals? Let the Washington Post know what you think.
This one-hour course, hosted by Dr. Marga Gual Soler and Dr. Tom Wang of the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, is the first ever online course fully dedicated to science diplomacy. Join us and learn all about the connections between science and diplomacy throughout the ages.
Support AAAS' efforts in integrating scientific evidence into public policymaking with a tax-deductible donation.
Now is the time to become part of the global force of scientists, engineers and advocates dedicated to scientific inquiry.
Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE) in your local newspaper to share the local impact of science R&D funding.
Misinformation often shapes public attitudes about science. Get the facts and share the evidence on polarized issues.