About the Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs

Chief Program Director: Edward G. Derrick, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor on Science & Technology Policy: Stephen D. Nelson, Ph.D.

AAAS Center of Science, Policy, and Society Programs
1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202/326-6600; Fax: 202/289-4950
Email: science_policy@aaas.org

The Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs (CSPSP) serves society, government, and the research community through a diverse set of activities. Its programs address several objectives of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), including furthering the work of scientists, improving the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare, and fostering scientific freedom and responsibility.

The four CSPSP units include:

  • Science & Technology Policy Fellowships offers opportunities for scientists and engineers to help shape science and technology policy in Washington, DC, for one year. The placements provide the opportunity for accomplished scientists and engineers to participate in and contribute to the federal policymaking process while learning firsthand about the intersection of science and policy.
  • Research Competitiveness Program assists universities and other R&D institutions in enhancing their research capabilities, and guides governments and others in making sound investments in science and innovation. To accomplish this work, RCP draws on a network of experts that includes researchers from all areas of science and technology; leaders from academic and government institutions; persons experienced in product development and technology transfer; and entrepreneurs and business managers from all fields.
  • Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights, and Law Program addresses ethical, legal and human rights issues related to the conduct of science and its application. Such issues include those related to defending the freedom to engage in scientific inquiry, pioneering the application of science and technology to document human rights violations, and promoting responsible research practices.
  • Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion develops workshops and training seminars, organizes forums and conferences, and sponsors multidisciplinary research and study projects to foster meaningful communication between the scientific and religious communities.

Working with the Office of Government Relations, the Center plays a leading role in producing the weekly Policy Alert; the annual S&T Policy Forum; and the annual Leadership Seminar in S&T Policy.

The Center is currently hosting ELISS, a new program to prepare and empower graduate and professional students to collaborate across boundaries to solve real-world problems throughout their professional and civic lives. The hands-on, competitive program harnesses the talents and creativity of tomorrow’s leaders to help communities and the nation understand and address tough issues in theme areas ranging from health to environment to education.

The Center produces occasional reports on issues in science, policy, and society.  The State of Science Policy, a Festschrift on the occasion of the retirement of Albert H. Teich, the former Director of the AAAS Science and Policy Programs, is now online. A workshop on interdisciplinary research and education has resulted in an online publication on best practices.  The Center also maintains a list of graduate programs in science and policy.  For a full list of recent reports, visit the CSTSP publications page.

Events in Washington DC are announced through a listserv for the Washington Science Policy Alliance (WSPA).  To sign up, send a message to science_policy@aaas.org.