AAAS Visiting Scholars to Tackle a Variety of Science Issues

From international communications to diplomacy to analyzing science policy and the federal budget in the White House, the new group of expert scholars visiting AAAS comes with a wealth of experience that they can use to help the organization serve society through science.

The Visiting Scholar program allows experts in the science community to spend up to a year at AAAS’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., advancing their scholarly pursuits and working with one or more of the multiple departments within the world’s largest general scientific organization.

“The Visiting Scholar Program was created to allow a researcher from another institution to pursue scholarly work at AAAS as it aligns with our mission and benefits from interactions with AAAS staff,” explained AAAS’ Chief Operating Officer Celeste Rohlfing.

Among the scholars is Cathy Campbell, who will be joining AAAS on 1 March. She previously served as president and chief executive officer of CRDF Global, a non-profit organization which promotes international scientific and technical collaboration. Campbell is a AAAS Fellow and served as a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Clinton administration.

Cathy Campbell’s term as a AAAS Visiting Scholar begins on 1 March. She is the former president and chief executive officer of CRDF Global. | CRDF Global

Campbell plans to focus on science diplomacy and international science cooperation during her time at AAAS, by researching national trends in science diplomacy in Arab countries. She noted that there is growing interest among these countries in science diplomacy and in “creating an ecosystem for science advice.”

She said that she was drawn to apply for the Visiting Scholar program by the opportunity to conduct research on important topics within a stimulating environment. Campbell also explained that she believes strongly in AAAS’ mission and its international work.

“I also welcome the chance to contribute to programs at AAAS and share my forty years of experience in international science cooperation,” Campbell said.

Kei Koizumi, former assistant director for federal research and development at the White House OSTP, has also recently joined AAAS as a visiting scholar. He served in the White House for the entirety of the Obama administration, an experience he described as “the adventure of a lifetime.”

Before joining AAAS as a Visiting Scholar, Kei Koizumi served as former assistant director for federal research and development at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration. | Stephen Waldron/AAAS

Before joining OSTP, Koizumi served as the director of AAAS’ Research & Development Budget and Policy Program. He was also named a AAAS Fellow, an honor that the organization bestows upon members who have made significant efforts to advance science or its applications. During his term as a visiting scholar, Koizumi said that he would like to enhance “the capacity of the community to bring together science and public policy and the public in interesting ways.” He would also like to help build relationships between universities and non-profit organizations in the broader science community.

“AAAS has always been strong in the entire range of issues covered under science and technology policy,” Koizumi explained, “but there’s an opportunity to be stronger and better and I want to do my part.”

During his term, Koizumi will work with multiple departments within AAAS, including the Executive Office, the Office of Government Relations and Center of Science, Policy, and Society Programs.

Another scholar who has recently joined AAAS is Naohiro Takahashi, who has been working with the Public Engagement team since January and will stay on until the end of February. Takahashi comes to AAAS from the Japan Science and Technology Agency, where he is in charge of the Strategic Innovation Program in the agency’s Center for Science Communication.

During his term as a Visiting Scholar, Naohiro Takahashi is working with the Public Engagement team. He is using what he has learned at AAAS to draft programs for his home institution, the Japan Science and Technology Agency. | Stephen Waldron/AAAS

 “I’ve had a productive, stimulating experience so far,” Takahashi said of his work with the Public Engagement team. “Now I’m using what I’ve learned to draft programs that we can put into effect at JST.”

Takahashi’s day-to-day activities include reviewing materials prepared by the Public Engagement team for projects like their Communicating Science workshops, which provide training for scientists and engineers looking to communicate their work to the public. Takahashi also meets with experts in the science community who are already practicing public engagement.

Emily Cloyd, a project director in AAAS’ Center for Public Engagement with Science & Technology and Takahashi’s sponsor during his term with the organization, said that her team is looking forward to collaborating with Takahashi after he returns to Japan.

“Naohiro’s visit has provided us with an opportunity to learn about the motivations for public engagement among Japanese scientists and how the Japanese government is approaching the question of how to support scientists who are interested in sharing their work more broadly,” Cloyd said.

The program aims to encourage collaboration between AAAS’ staff and external colleagues and allows visiting scholars to represent their own institution or serve as independent researchers.

Those interested in learning more about the Visiting Scholar program can find more information on the AAAS website.