American Association for the Advancement of Science

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American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association for the Advancement of Science logo.gif
AAAS logo
Focus Science education and outreach
Members 126,995
Website aaas.org
Formerly called Association of American Geologists and Naturalists
Washington, D.C. office of the AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an American international non-profit organization with the stated goals of promoting cooperation among scientists, defending scientific freedom, encouraging scientific responsibility, and supporting scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of all humanity. It is the world's largest and most prestigious general scientific society, with 126,995 individual and institutional members at the end of 2008,[1] and is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal Science, which has a weekly circulation of 138,549.[2]

History[edit]

Creation[edit]

The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created on September 20, 1848 in Pennsylvania.[3] It was a reformation of the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists. The society chose William Charles Redfield as their first president[4] because he had proposed the most comprehensive plans for the organization. According to the first constitution which was agreed to at the September 20 meeting, the goal of the society was to promote scientific dialogue in order to allow for greater scientific collaboration. By doing so the association aimed to use resources to conduct science with increased efficiency and allow for scientific progress at a greater rate. The association also sought to increase the resources available to the scientific community through active advocacy of science.

There were only 87 members when the AAAS was formed. As a member of the new scientific body, Matthew Fontaine Maury, USN was one of those who attended the first 1848 meeting.

At a meeting held on Friday afternoon, September 22, 1848, Redfield presided, and Matthew Fontaine Maury gave a full scientific report on his Wind and Current Charts. Maury stated that hundreds of ship navigators were now sending abstract logs of their voyages to the United States Naval Observatory. With pride he added, "Never before was such a corps of observers known." But, he pointed out to his fellow scientists, his critical need was for more "simultaneous observations."

"The work," Maury stated, "is not exclusively for the benefit of any nation or age." The minutes of the AAAS meeting reveal that because of the universality of this "view on the subject, it was suggested whether the states of Christendom might not be induced to cooperate with their Navies in the undertaking; at least so far as to cause abstracts of their log-books and sea journals to be furnished to Matthew F. Maury, USN, at the Naval Observatory at Washington."

William Barton Rogers, professor at the University of Virginia and later founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offered a resolution: "Resolved that a Committee of five be appointed to address a memorial to the Secretary of the Navy, requesting his further aid in procuring for Matthew Maury the use of the observations of European and other foreign navigators, for the extension and perfecting of his charts of winds and currents." The resolution was adopted and, in addition to Rogers, the following members of the association were appointed to the committee: Professor Joseph Henry of Washington; Professor Benjamin Peirce of Cambridge, Massachusetts; Professor James H. Coffin of Easton, Pennsylvania, and Professor Stephen Alexander of Princeton, New Jersey. This was scientific cooperation, and Maury went back to Washington with great hopes for the future.

Growth and Civil War dormancy[edit]

By 1860 membership increased to over 2,000. The AAAS became dormant during the American Civil War; their August 1861 meeting in Nashville, Tennessee was postponed indefinitely after the outbreak of the first major engagement of the war at Bull Run. The AAAS did not become a permanent casualty of the war.

In 1866, Frederick Barnard presided over the first meeting of the resurrected AAAS at a meeting in New York City. Following the revival of the AAAS, the group had considerable growth. The AAAS permitted all people, regardless of scientific credentials, to join. The AAAS did, however, institute a policy of granting the title of "Fellow of the AAAS" to well-respected scientists within the organization. The years of peace brought the development and expansion of other scientific-oriented groups. The AAAS's focus on the unification of many fields of science under a single organization was in contrast to the many new science organizations founded to promote a single discipline. For example, the American Chemical Society, founded in 1876, promotes chemistry.

In 1863, the US Congress established the National Academy of Sciences, another multidisciplinary sciences organization. It elects members based on recommendations from colleagues and the value of published works.

Advocacy[edit]

Since 2006, AAAS's CEO Dr. Alan I. Leshner has published many op-ed articles discussing how many people integrate science and religion in their lives. He has opposed the insertion of non-scientific content, such as creationism or intelligent design, into the scientific curriculum of schools.[5][6][7][8]

In December 2006, the AAAS adopted an official statement on climate change in which they stated, "The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society....The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control greenhouse gas emissions is now."[9]

In February 2007, the AAAS used satellite images to document human rights abuses in Burma.[10] The next year, AAAS launched the Center for Science Diplomacy to advance both science and the broader relationships among partner countries, by promoting science diplomacy and international scientific cooperation.[11]

In his 2008 article [12] about the Experimental Lakes Area, in Kenora District Ontario, Canada, published in Science, Erik Stokstad described the ELA's "extreme science."[12] The ELA project manipulated whole lake ecosystem's for forty years, collecting long-term records for climatology, hydrology, and limnology based on whole-ecosystem experiments that address key issues in water management.[13] The ELA influenced public policy in water management in Canada, the USA and Europe,[12] but by 2008 was attempting to convince federal funders to focus on climate change research. The decision to abruptly defund the ELA was widely condemned by the Canadian and international scientific community.[12][14] The scientific journal Nature in an article entitled, The Death of Evidence, described the decision as "disturbing", and said that it "is hard to believe that finance is the true reason" for the closure.[15]

In 2012, AAAS published op-eds,[16] held events on Capitol Hill and released analyses of the U.S. federal research[17] and development budget to warn that a budget sequestration would pose risks to scientific progress.[18]

Governance[edit]

The most recent Constitution of the AAAS, enacted on January 1, 1973, establishes that the governance of the AAAS is accomplished through four entities: a President, a group of administrative officers, a Council, and a Board of Directors.

Presidents[edit]

Individuals elected to the presidency of the AAAS hold a three-year term in a unique way. The first year is spent as President-elect, the second as President and the third as Chairperson of the Board of Directors. In accordance with the convention followed by the AAAS, presidents are referenced by the year in which they left office.

Phillip Sharp is the President of AAAS for 2013-14; William H. Press is the Board Chair; and Gerald Fink is the President-Elect.[19] Each took office on the last day of the 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting in February 2013.[20][21] On the last day of the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting, February 17, 2014,[22] Sharp will become the Chair, Fink will become the President, and a new President-Elect will take office.

Past presidents of AAAS have included some of the most important scientific figures of their time. Among them: explorer and geologist John Wesley Powell (1888); astronomer and physicist Edward Charles Pickering (1912); anthropologist Margaret Mead (1975); and biologist Stephen Jay Gould (2000).

Notable Presidents of the AAAS, 1848-2005

Administrative officers[edit]

There are three classifications of high-level administrative officials that execute the basic, daily functions of the AAAS. These are the Executive Officer, the Treasurer and then each of the AAAS's section secretaries. The current CEO of AAAS and executive publisher of Science magazine is Alan I. Leshner.[23]

Sections of the AAAS[edit]

The AAAS has 24 "sections" with each section being responsible for a particular concern of the AAAS. There are sections for agriculture, anthropology, astronomy, atmospheric science, biological science, chemistry, dentistry, education, engineering, general interest in science and engineering, geology and geography, the history and philosophy of science, technology, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, medical science, neuroscience, pharmaceutical science, physics, psychology, science and human rights, social and political science, the social impact of science and engineering, and statistics.[24]

Affiliates[edit]

AAAS affiliates include 262 societies and academies of science, serving more than 10 million members, from the Acoustical Society of America to the Wildlife Society, as well as non-mainstream groups like the Parapsychological Association.[25]

The Council[edit]

The Council is composed of the members of the Board of Directors, the retiring section chairmen and elected delegates. Among the elected delegates there are always at least two members from the National Academy of Sciences and one from each region of the country. The President of the AAAS serves as the Chairperson of the Council. Members serve the Council for a term of three years.

The council meets annually to discuss matters of importance to the AAAS. They have the power to review all activities of the Association, elect new fellows, adopt resolutions, propose amendments to the Association's constitution and bylaws, create new scientific sections, and organize and aid local chapters of the AAAS.

The Board of Directors[edit]

The board of directors is composed of a chairperson, the president, and the president-elect along with eight elected directors, the executive officer of the association and up to two additional directors appointed by elected officers. Members serve a four-year term except for directors appointed by elected officers, who serve three-year terms.

The current chairman is Peter Agre, director of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute[26][27] and a Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for his discovery of aquaporins.[28] Agre will serve in the post until the end of the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting,[29] 21 February 2011.[30] (The chairperson is always the immediate past-president of AAAS.)

The board of directors has a variety of powers and responsibilities. It is charged with the administration of all association funds, publication of a budget, appointment of administrators, proposition of amendments, and determining the time and place of meetings of the national association. The board may also speak publicly on behalf of the association. The board must also regularly correspond with the council to discuss their actions.

List of Meetings[edit]

  • September 1848, 1st Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[31][32]
  • August 1849, 2nd Meeting, Cambridge, Massachusetts[33]
  • March 1850, 3rd Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina[34]
  • August 1850, 4th Meeting, New Haven, Connecticut
  • May 1851, 5th Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio[35]
  • August 1851, 6th Meeting, Albany, New York[36]
  • July 1853, 7th Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio[37]
  • May 1854, 8th Meeting, Washington DC[38]
  • August 1855, 9th Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island[39]
  • August 1856, 10th Meeting, Albany, New York
  • August 1857, 11th Meeting, Montreal, Canada[40][41]
  • April 1858, 12th Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland
  • August 1859, 13th Meeting, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • August 1860, 14th Meeting, Newport, Rhode Island[42]
  • August 1866, 15th Meeting, Buffalo, New York[43]
  • August 1867, 16th Meeting, Burlington, Vermont[44]
  • August 1868, 17th Meeting, Chicago, Illinois[45]
  • August 1869, 18th Meeting, Salem, Massachusetts[46]
  • August 1870, 19th Meeting, Troy, New York[47]
  • August 1871, 20th Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana[48]
  • August 1872, 21st Meeting, Dubuque, Iowa[49]
  • August 1873. 22nd Meeting. Portland, Maine[50]
  • August 1874, 23rd Meeting, Hartford, Connecticut[51]
  • August 1875, 24th Meeting, Detroit, Michigan[52]
  • August 1876, 25th Buffalo, New York
  • August 1877, 26th Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee[53]
  • August 1878. 27th Meeting, St Louis, Missouri
  • August 1879, 28th Meeting, Sargotta Springs, New York[54]
  • August 1880, 29th Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts
  • August 1881, 30th Meeting, Cincinnati, Ohio[55]
  • August 1882. 31st Meeting, Montreal, Canada[56][57]
  • August 1883, 32nd Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • August 1884 33rd Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • August 1885, 34th Meeting, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • August 1886, 35th Meeting, Buffalo, New York[58]
  • August 1887. 36th Meeting, New York[59]
  • August 1888, 37th Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio[60]
  • August 1889, 38th Meeting, Toronto, Ontario[61]
  • August 1890, 39th Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana[62]
  • August 1891, 40th Meeting, Washington, DC[63]
  • August 1892, 41st Meeting, Rochester, New York[64]
  • August 1893, 42nd Meeting, Madison, Wisconsin[65]
  • August 1894, 43rd Meeting, Brooklyn, New York[66]
  • August 1895, 44th Meeting, Springfield, Massachusetts[67]
  • August 1896, 45th Meeting, Buffalo, New York[68]
  • August 1897, 46th Meeting, Detroit, Michigan[69]
  • August 1898, 47th Meeting and 50th Anniversary, Boston, Massachusetts[70]
  • August 1899, 48th Meeting, Columbus, Ohio[71]
  • June 1900, 49th Meeting, New York, New York
  • August 1901, 50th Meeting, Denver, Colorado[72]
  • June–July 1902, 51st Meeting, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania[73]
  • December 1902-January 1903, 52nd Meeting, Washington DC[74]
  • December 1903-January 1904, 53rd Meeting, St Louis, Missouri[75][76]
  • December 1904, 54th Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania[77]
  • December 1905-January 1906, 55th Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana[78]
  • December 1907-January 1908, 58th Meeting, Chicago, Illinois[79]
  • June–July 1908, 59th Meeting (special summer meeting), Hanover, New Hampshire[80]
  • December 1908-January 1909, 60th Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland[80]
  • December 1909-January 1910, 61st Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts[80]

December 1914-January 1915 67th Meeting Philadelphia, PA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Publisher's own data[clarification needed]
  2. ^ BPA Worldwide, June 2008
  3. ^ "150 Years of Advancing Science: A History of AAAS Origins: 1848-1899". AAAS. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Reingold, Nathan (1964). Science in Nineteenth-Century America: A Documentary History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 154. ISBN 0-226-70947-7. 
  5. ^ "'Academic Freedom' Bill Dangerous Distraction," Alan I. Leshner, The Shreveport Times 28 May 2008
  6. ^ "Anti-science law threatens tech jobs of future," Alan I. Leshner, The Times-Picayune 6 May 2008
  7. ^ "Design: Critical Deception?," Alan I. Leshner, Akron Beacon-Journal 11 September 2006
  8. ^ "Science and Public Engagement," Alan I. Leshner, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Chronicle Review 13 October 2006
  9. ^ AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change www.aaas.org December 2006
  10. ^ "Satellite Images Verify Myanmar Forced Relocations, Mounting Military Presence". ScienceMode. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  11. ^ "AAAS – AAAS News Release – "AAAS Opens New Center for Science Diplomacy to "Promote International Understanding and Prosperity""". www.aaas.org. Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  12. ^ a b c d Stokstad, Erik (28 November 2008). "Canada's Experimental Lakes". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)) 322 (5906): 1316–1319. doi:10.1126/science.322.5906.1316. 
  13. ^ Schindler, David William (2009). "A personal history of the Experimental Lakes Project] [1]" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 66 (11): 1837–1847. 
  14. ^ Paris, Max (18 Oct 2012). "Experimental Lakes allies say poll a wakeup call for Tories". CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  15. ^ Death of Evidence. Nature. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Stalling science threatens every domain of modern life" Alan I. Leshner, Bradenton Herald 27 September 2012
  17. ^ "Sequestration Budget Cuts Would Cripple U.S. Scientific Progress, Experts Warn" Edward W. Lempinen, AAAS 21 November 2012
  18. ^ "Federal and State Research Could Be Crippled by Looming Cuts, Says New AAAS Report" Earl Lane, AAAS 28 September 2012
  19. ^ Board of Directors: 2013-2014, AAAS.org
  20. ^ AAAS Annual Meeting Archives (dates), AAAS.org
  21. ^ "Gerald R. Fink Chosen To Serve As AAAS President-Elect", AAAS.org
  22. ^ Future AAAS Annual Meetings (dates), AAAS.org
  23. ^ ScienceTalk: Alan I. Leshner, AAAS.org
  24. ^ AAAS Sections, AAAS.org
  25. ^ list of affiliates starting with the letter P.
  26. ^ AAAS Experts & Speakers Service: Peter C. Agre, AAAS.org
  27. ^ Bloomberg School of Public Health Welcomes Peter Agre, JHSPH.edu
  28. ^ Karl Grandin, ed. (2003). "Peter Agre Biography". Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  29. ^ Board of Directors, AAAS.org
  30. ^ 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting, AAAS.org
  31. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  32. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  33. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  34. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  35. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  36. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  37. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  38. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  39. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  40. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  41. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  42. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  43. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  44. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  45. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  46. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  47. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  48. ^ "Proceedings of the Twentieth Meeting". Retrieved 5 June 2013. 
  49. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  50. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  51. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  52. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  53. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  54. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  55. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  56. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  57. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  58. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  59. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  60. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  61. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  62. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  63. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  64. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  65. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  66. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  67. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  68. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  69. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  70. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  71. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  72. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  73. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  74. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  75. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  76. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  77. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  78. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  79. ^ "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 
  80. ^ a b c "Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science". 

External links[edit]