The Directorate for International Programs seeks to enhance cooperation between scientists and engineers throughout the world. Its activities are designed to strengthen the role of scientists in developing countries and to increase the contribution of science and technology to the solution of regional and global problems. The directorates activities are focused in five areas: Ecology and Human Needs; Africa; Europe and Central Asia; Latin America and the Caribbean; and the Pacific Rim. The directorate also works to strengthen the impact of science and technology on foreign policy at the U.S. Department of State.
SCIENCE IN DIPLOMACY
AAAS has focused on the need for more emphasis on science and technology in the U.S. Department of State. At the 2000 Annual Meeting, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delivered a plenary address and two symposia were held on the importance of science and technology expertise at the State Department. Following the Annual Meeting, Albright released a science policy statement in which she called for more attention to science and technology in diplomacy, the naming of a senior science advisor, and training courses in science and technology for State Department staff. AAAS President Mary Good subsequently met with Albright at the State Department to offer AAASs help in strengthening the use of science and technology in foreign policy, and addressed a standing-room-only crowd of State Department officials. In September 2000, Norman Neureiter was appointed the first science and technology adviser to the secretary of state.
AAAS also sponsors seminars each year for science diplomats posted at embassies in Washington, D.C. In 2000, AAAS held two seminars that addressed the topics of government research and development funding and industrial R&D funding. It also continued its Distinguished International Scientist Dinner Lecture Series, which provides an opportunity for the Washington area science community to discuss major scientific issues with outstanding foreign scientists and science policymakers. In 2000, the chairman of Indias Space Research Organization served as guest lecturer.
International Ocean Science Day
In an effort to foster more awareness of scientific findings and assist the House Oceans Caucus in developing a policy agenda, AAAS, in conjunction with the World Conservation Union and the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation Inc., hosted International Ocean Science Day. Scientific experts addressed the issues of fisheries, gas hydrates, and ocean diseases. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University, a marine biologist and past president of AAAS, presented the results to a second conference held the next day on Capitol Hill. More than 300 representatives of government, the scientific community, and the public participated in the conferences.
APEC Youth Science Festival
Twenty of the nations most gifted and innovative young scientists took part in this years Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) Youth Science Festival, held in Singapore. These U.S. high school students were selected by a AAAS panel of reviewers with cooperation from six other organizations. The science festival is an open stage for young scientists from all over the world to show their scientific prowess. The festival included demonstrations of research projects, exhibitions of inventions and science-related artworks, cultural performances, field trips, and lectures. The first festival was held in 1998 in Seoul, Korea.
Science in Africa
In cooperation with the National Science Foundation and Department of State, AAAS organized a U.S. visit by a delegation of Mozambican scientists lead by the Minister of Higher Education, Science, and Technology. The delegation gave a panel presentation on science in Mozambique at the 2000 AAAS Annual Meeting, and meetings were also held with universities, federal agencies, and donors. The visit has led to collaborative ventures in higher education, river basin management, coastal and marine conservation, and natural products research and development.
AAAS hosted the 2000 Interciencia Association (IA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., during the AAAS Annual Meeting. The meeting included 30 representatives from 18 scientific organizations in Latin America. AAAS also assisted in the establishment of the Leonard Rieser Endowment Fund for Interciencia (Rieser was a former president of both AAAS and IA). The Interciencia Association publishes the trilingual journal Interciencia and stimulates the creation of non-governmental scientific organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2000, AAAS launched a new initiative, the Ecosystem Dynamics and Essential Human Needs (EDEHN), which will consider and apply a set of emerging environmental, social, and economic theories and practices through four pilot projects maintained over seven to ten years in key watersheds around the world. Each watershed will feature different ecological and social issues and be a baseline for future studies and replication. The projects will seek to identify new areas of investigation for researchers, produce educational materials, and document natural resource management. Two sites already selected for the initiative are the Kola Peninsula in Western Russia and the Mekong River in Asia; additional sites will be chosen in Africa and Latin America.
Training of Russian Women Weapons Scientists
AAAS, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energys Nuclear Cities Initiative, launched a retraining program for women weapons scientists to enter new careers in entrepreneurial scientific work. The program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Energy initiative that seeks to control the proliferation and production of nuclear weapons and to retrain weapons scientists for civilian sector employment. The program includes workshops on proposal writing, the protection of intellectual property rights, writing for scientific journals, and how to develop a business plan. Participants in these workshops live in the closed Russian cities of Sarov and Snezhinsk-important centers for nuclear weapons production.