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Annual Meeting Explores Beauty, Benefits of Science

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 It’s a familiar pathway for many scientists: Their curiosity and drive to understand the world lead to broader benefits. The 2013 AAAS Annual Meeting, which convenes from 14 to 18 February in Boston, will focus on these deep and rich connections between the beauty of scientific knowledge and its often unexpected impact.

The 179th Annual Meeting will feature top scientists, engineers, educators, policy-makers, and science journalists from around the world. More than 150 sessions are scheduled under the theme “The Beauty and Benefits of Science,” including symposia in 14 research tracks, career development workshops, and popular public events such as Family Science Days.

Plenary speakers will include molecular biologist Cynthia Kenyon, whose work on roundworm genetics sparked an intensive new interest in the biology of aging, and Harvard astrophysicist Robert Kirshner, who guided two Nobel Prize winners to their discovery of an accelerating universe. Their research demonstrates “the rich and complicated connections between basic and applied research, and how they bring about both practical benefits and the beauty of pure understanding,” said AAAS President William H. Press in his letter of invitation.

The Meeting’s ambitious program includes topics such as teaching stroke victims to speak again, ensuring food safety in a global marketplace, and reaching a critical turning point in fusion energy research. Other presenters will discuss the draft findings from the U.S. National Climate Assessment, the quiet successes of cybersecurity research, and key international teacher-scientist partnerships.

For registration and program information, see www.aaas.org/meetings. The site http://news.aaas.org will serve as a portal for Annual Meeting news from ScienceNow, Science Update, www.aaas.org, AAAS MemberCentral, and EurekAlert! The AAAS Facebook page and Twitter (@AAASmeetings; #AAASmtg) also will feature news from Boston.