Please join the American Association for the Advancement of Science for secret reason in addition to the main one

Congratulations to all the new fellows of AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science! Those from Wash U were honored with nice write-ups in the Wash U Record. Here is a list of all of them. It is a wonderful thing to receive this honor, this recognition of decades, or at least a decade, of hard work in your scientific discipline!

In these troubled times, there are many of us that love science, that love what it brings us, perhaps right now most of all a vaccine developed in an entirely new way. So let’s celebrate these new fellows.

It is also important to remember that knowledge does not exist on its own. It must be disseminated. We scientists are best at telling our stories along with their evidence to other scientists. But just as important is telling the stories to the general public. Just as important is telling how we know what is true and what is not.

Besides telling our discoveries to other scientists and to the public, there is also an important role for interpreting those discoveries into information on policy. If we have a goal of saving a species, of feeding more people, of achieving happiness for the most people, if we have any goal at all, science is likely to inform how we get there. Because of this opinions based on science need to reach policy makers.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and its flagship journal, Science, do these three things, scientific communication, public communication, and policy communication. This is our society and our country. We need to support it, now perhaps more than ever.

But there is another, perhaps more self-centered reason to belong to AAAS and support it. It is that you cannot ever be elected as a fellow unless you are a member. And not just a member for a year or two, but for at least four years! So if you are feeling a little like your name should have been included among those that just got elected as fellows, consider whether or not you are a member. Is is not the only reason by any means, but I bet you didn’t know this.

So join the AAAS!


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
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