Skip to main content

Applications Open for Artificial Intelligence Cohort of AAAS Leshner Public Engagement Fellows

The 2019-20 human augmentation cohort recently completed orientation and returned home to implement their public engagement plans. | Credit: Mary Catherine Longshore.
The 2019-20 human augmentation cohort recently completed orientation and returned home to implement their public engagement plans.
Photo credit: Mary Catherine Longshore

The AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science is seeking active researchers in the field of artificial intelligence for the fifth cohort of the Leshner Leadership Institute fellowship program. The application period is from August 1 to October 1, 2019. The program convenes a group of 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 2020 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 artificial intelligence, training and mentoring other scientists in their communities, and promoting public engagement within their institutions.

AAAS July 2019 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, food and water security, and human augmentation. Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the attempt to have machines augment or mimic human abilities, learning from and adjusting to new situations and performing tasks such as responding to search requests, managing manufacturing processes, and assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. Artificial intelligence is already being applied in areas including marketing and communications, transportation, finance, toys and games, and national security.

Incorporating AI into society raises questions in a number of areas, such as potential implications for the global workforce and the ways that changing access to news and information might influence our perceptions of the world around us. As research in AI continues, questions abound about how to responsibly develop the technology, address biases in programming and applications, and consider opportunities and risks along the pathway from development to deployment.

Applicants for the 2020-2021 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) data and computer sciences, engineering, technology ethics, cognitive sciences, sociology, economics, and education and workforce development.

To apply for the 2020-21 Artificial Intelligence 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