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Space sciences/Astronomy

Hello, I am Melissa Hagemann, Program Officer of the Science Journals Donation Program of the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations. Thank you for inviting me to participate in this meeting.

Seven foundations have formed a coalition with the aim of increasing support for basic science among the nation’s philanthropists and foundations, Robert Conn, president of The Kavli Foundation, announced on 2 May. The group hopes to double philanthropic support in this area of U.S. science within a decade.

You could call it the “Carl Sagan Trap,” after the late Cornell astronomer who was chided by some of his colleagues for spending too much time as a science popularizer. Far too many scientists still see themselves in this trap, seemingly caught between being a top-notch researcher and a public communicator.

The need for greater inclusiveness in global research collaborations, escalating science-society tensions, and public engagement with science were the focus of AAAS contributions to Euroscience Open Forum 2012, Europe’s largest interdisciplinary scientific meeting.

Teaching science and mathematics needs to be more of a science like astronomy, not a folk art like astrology as has been the case for too long, Nobel laureate Carl Wieman said at a national conference on strategies to build a stronger corps of science teachers.

The goal should be to have “all students think about and use science, mathematics, and engineering more like scientists do,” Wieman said. “The most valuable metric” for evaluating effective teaching should be creating patterns of scientific thinking.

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.

Dinosaurs, robots, and volcanoes are often the stars of children’s science news, but a new video resource from AAAS’s EurekAlert! news service shows that scientists themselves can be compelling characters.