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President’s Invitation


The Annual Meeting is one of the most widely recognized pan-science events, with hundreds of networking opportunities and broad global media coverage. An exceptional array of speakers will gather at the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting from 16-20 February in Vancouver, B.C.

The theme of “Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society” is intended to focus the program on the complex, interconnected challenges of the 21st century and on pathways to global solutions through international, multidisciplinary efforts.

Once annually, AAAS sponsors an international conference — four days of symposia, lectures, seminars, workshops, and poster sessions that cover every area of science, technology, and education. Typically attendees hail from nearly 60 countries, and everyone is welcome. Those who join us will have the opportunity to choose from among a broad range of activities, including plenary and topical lectures by some of the world's leading scientists and engineers, career development workshops, and an international exhibition.

AAAS also organizes a unique community science showcase that offers an array of hands-on demonstrations and other family and child friendly activities. Spanning two days in the Exhibit Hall, the free Family Science Days help to shine a spotlight on researchers and science educators who are working in both formal and informal settings to stimulate broad public interest in science and technology.

AAAS last convened outside the United States in 1981 in Toronto. We will meet in Vancouver in 2012 for the first time. The science and technology community in Canada has provided invaluable assistance with our planning efforts, which I gratefully acknowledge. Our sections, divisions, and committees also make tremendous contributions, which are integral to program content. I also extend a personal thanks to the members of the Scientific Program Committee who organize the many excellent ideas and contributed proposals submitted into an outstanding meeting.

I urge you to join us in Vancouver.

Dr. Nina V. Fedoroff
AAAS President and Program Chair;
Evan Pugh Professor, Huck Institutes of the
Life Sciences, Penn State University;
Distinguished Visiting Professor,
King Abdullah University of Science and
Technology (KAUST)