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Social sciences/Political science/International relations

AAAS today joined more than 3000 national, state, and local organizations in warning the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama that automatic budget cuts set for January could have “devastating” effects on research, education, social services, security, and international relations.

As Myanmar moves through an historic political transformation, scientific engagement is helping to shift its relationship with the United States from geopolitical tension to socially beneficial action. An article in the new issue of Science & Diplomacy, the free online publication from AAAS, details how science associations and top universities are leading this effort to work with counterparts in Myanmar.

Several years ago, Saudi Arabia’s leaders faced a critical challenge: Other nations in the Middle East were making dramatic progress in science and technology, and by various measures, they were falling behind. The kingdom had a well-established science sector and strengths in key areas, but while some other nations had surging research publication rates, for example, its publications were flat.

More than 140 scientific societies and universities today sent a letter urging U.S. policymakers, in their need to cut spending, to avoid singling out specific programs—such as the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences—and to refrain from bypassing independent peer review.

KIGALI, Rwanda—A delegation of top AAAS officials, led by Chief Executive Officer Alan I. Leshner, on Wednesday will begin four days of talks and meetings here with science and education leaders from Rwanda and other East African nations.

Psychiatrist-physician David A. Hamburg, a winner of the 1996 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States, has agreed to join AAAS as a visiting scholar within the AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy (CSTSP) and the International Office.

Two recent international studies are poised to change the way scientists view the crucial relationship between Earth’s climate and the carbon cycle. These reports explore the global photosynthesis and respiration rates—the planet’s deep “breaths” of carbon dioxide, in and out—and researchers say that the new findings will be used to update and improve upon traditional models that couple together climate and carbon.

Diane Riendeau

Diane Riendeau