The National Science Board , the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation, announced 27 March that the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships  program is the recipient of the 2014 Public Service Award for a group.
The award, which honors exemplary public service in promoting public understanding of science and engineering, was given to AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships for building connections between science and policy for more than 40 years. Previous winners of the Public Service Award for a group include National Public Radio's Science Desk, The Exploratorium, and the television drama, NUMB3RS.
"This program has an incredible history and has had such a positive impact," said Ruth David, chair of the National Science Board Committee on Honorary Awards. "AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships have given over 2,500 scientists and engineers the opportunity to work in congressional offices or with federal agencies, learning about policymaking and contributing their skills and insights."
The first class of AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows began their service in congressional offices in 1973, offering their scientific expertise to lawmakers on increasingly technical legislative issues while gaining a first-hand understanding of the legislative process.
Today, the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships are operated by partnering with 15 federal agencies, several congressional offices and committees, and more than 30 professional scientific societies. Former Fellows have continued careers in public service, as well as the nonprofit and private sectors, holding senior positions in government, industry, universities, foundations, and non-governmental organizations.
"AAAS is honored to be acknowledged with such a prestigious award," said Cynthia Robinson, director of the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships program. "We take great pride that it recognizes the public service contributions of the Science & Technology Policy Fellows, and the important role of our partner societies and the host offices and mentors who have participated over the past 41 years."
The National Science Board will present the award 6 May during the National Science Foundation/National Science Board Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will also recognize the recipients of the National Science Board Public Service Award for an individual, the Vannevar Bush Award and the National Science Foundation Waterman Award.
[Adapted from a National Science Board press release]