Fellows gathered together and via live broadcast on August 4 for a conversation with AAAS CEO and STPF alumnus Rush Holt. Before joining AAAS in February, Holt served for 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey's 12th Congressional District. The fellows-only event allowed current and alumni fellows to ask the CEO questions about his new role and vision for AAAS.
AAAS CEO Rush Holt took questions from a fellows-only audience. | AAAS
With questions ranging from “Will AAAS be doing more advocacy?” to “What is the difference between science and technology?,” Holt often connected his response with the importance of the AAAS mission to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people and its related goals.
“As we [AAAS] become more involved in advocacy, it will be to a large extent through you and with you,” he told fellows. “I think the appreciation of science is eroding. We see that in a lot of ways: Families deciding not to have their kids vaccinated; federally-funded R&D was half of what is was 50 years ago; people are denying climate change when the evidence is right in front of them; and so on. We need to find new ways of engaging the public, and that’s where you come in. You are a powerful resource. There are more than 3,000 alumni today. That is a resource we haven’t used nearly as much as we should. I want to hear from you about how we can, and I intend to find ways for you to be more involved in AAAS advocacy efforts.”