Global Science Engagement was the theme of the 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., February 11 – 15. The meeting brought together thousands of scientists, engineers, educators, policymakers and journalists from around the world to discuss and collaborate on pressing issues such as infectious disease, climate change, food and water security, sustainable development and energy. Research!America staff joined other research advocates in Elsevier’s exhibit hall space to engage meeting attendees and share information about the alliance’s national voter education initiative Campaign for Cures, www.campaignforcures.org.
AAAS president Geraldine Richmond, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of collaboration in her opening remarks. Scientists "must recognize the importance of having everyone at the table when we're discussing global problems," she said. "It's important that we have a variety of voices, a variety of backgrounds, and a variety of cultures in order to come up with these solutions."
During the opening session, AAAS CEO Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., Research!America board member, asked what role science should play in the U.S. elections this year, noting that "science has not entered into presidential campaigns in a large way" in recent decades. AAAS will work with other science organizations to inject a science question into the 2016 presidential debates, and to counter any misinformation about science that arises during the election, he said.