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Al Teich Wins the Award for Scientific Achievement
in Science Policy from the Washington Academy of Sciences
Al Teich, the director of Science and Policy Programs for AAAS, has been named a winner of the prestigious Award for Scientific Achievement by the Washington Academy of Sciences.
The award puts Teich in the company of some of the most influential Washington D.C.-area scientists and science teachers of the modern era, including at least one Nobel Prize winner and leaders from top universities, labs and institutes. He will receive the Award for Science Policy at a banquet Tuesday night in Vienna, Va., just outside of Washington.
As head of the AAAS science policy directorate, Teich oversees development of the association's annual report on federal research and development spending and many other programs. He has frequently given briefings to Congress and congressional staff, and has often served as a spokesman for the association.
Peg Kay, president-elect of the Washington Academy of Sciences, said she nominated Teich for the award after watching his workand his influence on the nation's science policysince she first met him in 1984.
"I have watched Al lead effectively, intelligently and with grace over nearly 20 years," she says. "He's done a superlative job in the position he's in. It's a terrific accomplishment. This is a guy with no detractors that I know of…. And he's a genuinely nice guy.
Just as important as his formidable knowledge and his authoritative reports, Kay said, is the work that Teich has done behind the scenes, in the politically volatile climate of Washington. Teich agreed that is a key forum for his work.
"A lot of the work we do here at AAAS and that I do takes place in these Washington circles that are not visible to the press or to the outside world," he said. "But we do it in the belief that it has an effecta positive effect."
Teich said he was "delighted" and "gratified" by the award. "I think it reflects not just on me personally, but on AAAS and the things we do here," he said. "I have been here 25 years and before I did this I was an academic. I did some interesting work…but the contributions for which I'm being recognized are those made in the context of AAAS."
The Directorate on Science and Policy programs includes numerous initiatives, including the Policy Fellowships for Scientists & Engineers, which over the past 30 years has placed some 1,500 promising young scientists and engineers in various agencies; the Program in Science and Human Rights; the Research and Development Budget and Policy Program; the Center for Science, Technology and Congress; and the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Teich is also the editor of the textbook "Technology and the Future," which has been in print since 1972 and is now in its 9th edition.
Past winners of the Washington Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Achievement include Bill Phillips, who won the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics while at the National Institute for Standards and Technology; Jane Goodall, the animal researcher and primatologist; and Amitai Etzioni, past president of the American Sociological Association and founder of the Communitarian Network, a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to shoring up the moral, social and political foundations of society.
The Academy was founded in 1898 by a group of scientists that included Alexander Graham Bell. It presented its first awards in 1940.
Edward W. Lempinen
7 May 2004