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Applications Now Open for Human Augmentation Cohort of AAAS Leshner Public Engagement Fellows

2018-19 Leshner Leadership Fellows stand outside the AAAS building in Washington, D.C., in June 2018.
The 2018-19 food and water security cohort recently completed orientation and returned home to implement their public engagement plans.
Photo credit: Mary Catherine Longshore/AAAS
LLI 18-19 Blue Shirts
The 2018-19 food and water security cohort recently completed orientation and returned home to implement their public engagement plans.| Credit: Mary Catherine Longshore.

The AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science is seeking active researchers in the field of human augmentation, new and emerging technologies that may change humans’ physical, sensory or cognitive capacities, for the fourth cohort of the Leshner Leadership Institute fellowship program. The application period is from August 1 to October 1, 2018. The program convenes 15 mid-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence and leadership in their research careers and in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society. The selected AAAS Leshner Fellows will gather in June 2019 for a week of orientation and training at AAAS Headquarters in Washington, DC and then continue their activities while at their home institutions during the fellowship year. This includes developing and implementing high-impact public engagement related to human augmentation, training and mentoring other scientists in their communities, and promoting public engagement within their institutions.

AAAS July 2018 News & Notes features the Leshner Leadership Institute.

Each year, the AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute focuses on an issue at the nexus of science and society. Past and current cohorts have focused on climate change, infectious disease, and food and water security. Human augmentation refers to new and developing technologies that attempt to temporarily or permanently change the capabilities of the human body through natural or artificial means, including using pharmaceuticals, surgery or medical technology. As science and society further explore such human augmentation, there remain many questions about topics such as clinical testing, the rights of parents and minor children, the danger of exacerbating existing inequalities, the rights to medical care and the ethics of using an augmentation.

Research in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and cognitive science will play an increasing role in public conversations about whether and how to change human capacities. Applicants for the 2019-2020 AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute may be scientists or engineers in academia, government, non-governmental organizations or industry, and may be from institutions around the world. They must be active researchers, from disciplines including (but not limited to) biology or biotechnology, neuroscience, chemistry, biomedical engineering and medical ethics.

To apply for the 2019-20 Human Augmentation cohort, visit If you have questions about the program or would like to suggest candidate, please email the Center for Public Engagement with Science at