2005 Award Recipients
AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology
This year’s recipient of the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology is Dr. Jane Lubchenco. She is honored for her exemplary commitment to, and leadership of, public understanding of science initiatives in public policy and professional arenas as a core aspect of her scientific practice.
The AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, established in 1987, recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the “popularization of science.” Recipients receive $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University, is an environmental scientist and marine ecologist engaged in teaching, research, and communication of scientific knowledge interested citizens and policy makers.
During college, a summer course in invertebrate zoology at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, began her fascination with the ocean. She received a master’s degree from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, both in marine ecology. Her expertise now extends to ocean ecosystems, biodiversity, climate change, sustainability science, and the state of the oceans and the planet.
Dr. Lubchenco was assistant professor at Harvard before moving with her husband, marine ecologist Bruce Menge, to Oregon State. Together they lead PISCO, the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans, a team of scientists who study the near-shore portion of the marine ecosystem off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Researchers collaborate with similar programs in New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa.
As a past-president of AAAS, the Ecological Society of America, and the International Council for Science, and in her second term on the National Science Board, she has actively promoted science in both international and national arenas.
Dr. Lubchenco founded the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program that teaches academic environmental scientists to be more effective communicators of scientific information. She is a Founding Principal of COMPASS, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea, a collaboration among academic scientists, communication and media specialists, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Center for the Future of the Oceans to communicate and promote academic marine conservation science to policy-makers, the media, managers, and the public.
Her scientific contributions in ecology are widely recognized. She co-chaired Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s Advisory Group on Global Warming that recommended actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the European Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, and the Third World Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment, the 2003 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest, the 2004 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the 2004 Environmental Law Institute Award, the first scientist to receive this honor.
Please click here  for a list of past recipients.