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Scientific community/Science communication

This year’s Inclusive SciComm Symposium, hosted by the University of Rhode Island’s Metcalf Institute, included a session on October 15 on “Conservation and Environmental Justice: Faith Community Perspectives on Science Communication and Engagement.” It was organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) program with support from the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science & Technology. The virtual session brought together faith leaders and attendees, including many STEM graduate students and other early-career scientists, to discuss how religious communities are engaging on critical environmental issues affecting them and marginalized communities around the world.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, learn about the science communication efforts of several Hispanic scientists connected to AAAS.

During National Hispanic Heritage Month, learn about the science communication efforts of several Hispanic scientists connected to AAAS.

Scientists and engineers can play many roles in decision-making. Learn about mechanisms for engaging policymakers.

As part of the AAAS Leshner Public Engagement Fellowship, AAAS encourages fellows to advocate for change and promote public engagement in the scientific communities and institutions they’re a part of. Carolyn Rosé wanted to use her role as a founding chair of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in a Digital Era (IAALDE), which brings together education researchers from ten different scientific societies, to do just that. After considering many options, the group decided as a first step to hold a workshop to bring together researchers using artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology to develop educational tools, with education policymakers (such as those deciding what technology to use in schools, and school board members) and practitioners (such as curriculum developers and education non-profits), to understand how research could better serve educators.

As part of the AAAS Leshner Public Engagement Fellowship, AAAS encourages fellows to advocate for change and promote public engagement in the scientific communities and institutions they’re a part of. Carolyn Rosé wanted to use her role as a founding chair of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in a Digital Era (IAALDE), which brings together education researchers from ten different scientific societies, to do just that. After considering many options, the group decided as a first step to hold a workshop to bring together researchers using artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology to develop educational tools, with education policymakers (such as those deciding what technology to use in schools, and school board members) and practitioners (such as curriculum developers and education non-profits), to understand how research could better serve educators.

For years, much of Heather Lynch’s public engagement has been policy-oriented, serving as a resource to Antarctic treaty negotiations. Most recently, following the discovery of penguins in the Danger Islands she has been part of an effort to make it an Antarctic Specially Protected Area. She’s also supported documentary film crews with their Antarctic expeditions by sharing her knowledge of different locations. She’s even helped identify species of penguin based just on photos of their feet for National Geographic Kids publications.

For years, much of Heather Lynch’s public engagement has been policy-oriented, serving as a resource to Antarctic treaty negotiations. Most recently, following the discovery of penguins in the Danger Islands she has been part of an effort to make it an Antarctic Specially Protected Area. She’s also supported documentary film crews with their Antarctic expeditions by sharing her knowledge of different locations. She’s even helped identify species of penguin based just on photos of their feet for National Geographic Kids publications.

Bill Smart builds robots and researches human-robot interactions. He is also very interested in the policies that guide and regulate technology. Sometimes, he says, policymakers, like other members of the public, may expect too much of technology and give it more responsibility - and assumed objectivity - than it deserves. These and related concerns are being raised in many discussions about the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). This AAAS video series on responsible AI tackles some of these questions, as does this keynote lecture from Ruha Benjamin at the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting and a recent book by Kate Crawford, which seeks to demystify the “myth of AI” (i.e., its superhuman powers). Addressing these misperceptions and their implications are part of what motivates Smart – and many others in the 2020-21 cohort of AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows -- to communicate about their work.   

Bill Smart builds robots and researches human-robot interactions. He is also very interested in the policies that guide and regulate technology. Sometimes, he says, policymakers, like other members of the public, may expect too much of technology and give it more responsibility - and assumed objectivity - than it deserves. These and related concerns are being raised in many discussions about the ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). This AAAS video series on responsible AI tackles some of these questions, as does this keynote lecture from Ruha Benjamin at the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting and a recent book by Kate Crawford, which seeks to demystify the “myth of AI” (i.e., its superhuman powers). Addressing these misperceptions and their implications are part of what motivates Smart – and many others in the 2020-21 cohort of AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellows -- to communicate about their work.