The new role of S&T leaders

Washington, D.C. - How can science answer the big questions we face today, and what is the role of the scientist in forming public policy? More importantly, what are the best ways to educate the public about scientific and technological development, and encourage the next generation of scientists?

On Thursday, 10 April 2003, Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. and president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will address the importance for science and technological leaders to actively participate in policy-making, in public outreach, and in educating the next generation of leaders.

At the 28th Annual Colloquium for Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the AAAS, Jackson will present the prestigious 2003 William D. Carey Lecture, "Standing on the Knife Edge: The Leadership Imperative."

"Science is not an either/or proposition," says Jackson. "But today's rapid scientific and technological advances are posing "knife-edge" questions. How can we derive maximum benefit from scientific discovery, for example, without unleashing maximum danger? It is up to the science and engineering community to lead us through these critical times. Only with strong scientific, technological, and policy leadership, can we equip ourselves with the proper information to move forward or to stay the course."

Jackson notes that the AAAS has a unique opportunity to play a significant role in education and in science and technology public policy. The challenge, she says, will be to unite with research universities and corporate laboratories.

"Scientists and engineers at research universities and those at the corporate laboratories will develop the technological solutions and the applications," says Jackson. "AAAS can work toward inserting them into the political and policy process, and by doing so, will help to educate the public and ins

Contact: Monica Amarelo
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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