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Environmental sciences/Environmental engineering/Environmental management/Pollution control

While the overall amount of air pollution above the U.S. has declined considerably, meaningful disparities in access to clean air persist.

The 2016-2017 cohort of Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows are wrapping up their year, and the 2017-2018 cohort will soon be headed to AAAS for their week of training. While last year’s cohort was comprised of researchers who study various aspects of climate change, the new cohort’s scientific work relates to infectious disease. Their public engagement work ranges widely, however, providing an excellent opportunity for them to learn from one another.

As the former president of the island nation of Palau, Tommy Remengesau brought a special perspective to a preview at AAAS of “The Last Reef 3D: Cities Beneath the Sea,” a new film on endangered coral reefs.

“The reefs are very important to us because they are the essence of our existence and livelihood,” said Remengesau, a prominent conservation leader. “The production of ‘The Last Reef’ can only inspire and promote what mankind needs to do and that is ensure the reefs do not become extinct.”

Efforts to address a range of human rights issues across the Americas—from access to clean water and health care to political restrictions on research—will benefit from the close involvement of science and technology, AAAS told the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The U.S. State Department is deeply committed to international science cooperation through negotiated agreements and less formal engagement to address top priority issues such as climate change and health, Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones told AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows.

Although the Brazilian Amazon has recently experienced a decline in deforestation rates, researchers writing in Science say that forest fires in the region are on the rise—and that the benefits of decreased deforestation could be partially offset by increased carbon dioxide emissions from those fires.