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Mission and History

AAAS Strategic Vision

AAAS MISSION: Advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all. Advancing Science, Serving Society.

AAAS VISION STATEMENT: A boldly inclusive, mobilized, and global scientific community that ignites, enables, and celebrates scientific excellence and science-informed decisions and actions.

AAAS: A New Strategic Vision

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is guided by the following strategic goals:

  • Advance scientific excellence and achievement
    AAAS recognizes, inspires, and enables a robust research ecosystem that drives discovery and innovation and prepares future scientists and engineers.
  • Foster equity and inclusion for scientific excellence
    AAAS fosters the diverse, equitable, open, and inclusive scientific enterprise that is essential for scientific excellence.
  • Build trust among scientists and communities
    AAAS builds trust among scientists and engineers and broader communities and is a valued source of accurate scientific information that is foundational to countering misinformation.
  • Catalyze progress where science meets policy
    AAAS provides actionable evidence for public policy that serves society and promotes policies that enable quality science.

See AAAS’ one-pager about its new strategic vision.

A Member-Focused Organization

The world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS has individual members in more than 91 countries around the globe. Membership is open to anyone who shares our goals and belief that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help solve many of the challenges the world faces today. You can lend your support to our efforts on behalf of scientists, engineers, educators, and students everywhere by becoming a member. Together we can make a difference: Join Us.

To learn more about our community and the many benefits of membership, visit the Membership section of the website.

The History of AAAS

The formation of AAAS in 1848 marked the emergence of a national scientific community in the United States. While science was part of the American scene from the nation's early days, its practitioners remained few in number and scattered geographically and among disciplines. AAAS was the first permanent organization formed to promote the development of science and engineering at the national level and to represent the interests of all its disciplines.

Participants in AAAS meetings, held in cities across the country, represented a who's who of science. The meetings were covered widely by newspapers, which sometimes reprinted their proceedings verbatim.

However, AAAS's permanence was not preordained and, despite the many contributions it made during its first 50 years, the Association came close to extinction more than once. Ultimately, an alliance with Science magazine, which had failed as a private venture, rejuvenated both the magazine and AAAS.

150 Years of Advancing Science

The life of AAAS has been interwoven with the growth of American science. In celebration of its sesquicentennial in 1998, AAAS created an exhibit of artifacts, providing a glimpse at some of the people and events that have left an impression upon the association's history. Learn more about the history of AAAS.

AAAS Archives

The AAAS archives are open to researchers interested in the history of the association and its role in the development of science. The archives hold administrative and program records, as well as records for the journal ScienceBrowse the AAAS digital archives.