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AAAS' Teich Elected President of the Washington Academy of Sciences
Al Teich, director of Science & Policy Programs at AAAS, has been elected president of the Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS), a prestigious organization of scientists and their professional societies in the Washington, D.C. region.
The Academy includes nearly 60 affiliated societies in the Washington, D.C. area, from large, nationally-known science powerhouses such as the National Geographic Society to considerably smaller groups such as the Potowmack Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society. Among its member benefits, WAS publishes the quarterly, peer-reviewed Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences and sponsors Capitol Science, a biennial conference for local researchers.
One of Teich's primary concerns as president will be to increase the Academy's individual membership, which he hopes to do by adding more events at local embassies and science museums. He would also like to develop more public service programs like the Junior Academy, which connects WAS members to programs such as science fairs that encourage pre-college students interested in science careers.
"In a metropolitan area of this size with as many scientific institutions as we have here, we ought to have at least 1000 members. We're nowhere near that. I want to set that as a goal," Teich said.
Outgoing President Alain Touwaide, a historian of sciences in the botany department at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, said he worked closely with Teich last year on "the major challenge for the Academy, to attract more young scientists and future scientists."
Teich acknowledged this challenge in his presidential address to the Academy in May, and said he would "like to provide some career-related benefits that will help make the Academy more attractive to young scientists," such as a membership-based mentoring program.
Teich began his one-year term at the helm of the 110-year old group, one of the few associations in the United States to bring together local science societies, on 6 May. He has been a member of the Academy for four years, after receiving the association's award for achievement in science policy in 2004.
Visit the Washington Academy of Sciences to learn more about its membership and programs.
30 May 2008