Disease Experts—and Dancing—Free to the Public at 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting

Families with children, teachers, early-career scientists, and all others with a curious mind are invited to come to events that are free and open to the public at the AAAS Annual Meeting, 17-21 February in Washington, D.C.

With cutting-edge lectures on topics such as climate change and science-based efforts to create better forms of energy as well as hands-on science activities for children, the AAAS Annual Meeting promises something for people of all ages and interests.

Registration for these free events is required on-site at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, within walking distance of many of Washington’s landmarks.


Saturday-Sunday, 19-20 February, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D


Family Science Days will include a “Meet the Scientists” event, hands-on activities, and stage shows for families with children, teenagers, and young adults. To attend, the public should plan to pick up a free badge inside Exhibit Hall D, using the Family Science Days entrance.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration education staff, for example, will demonstrate the difficulty of removing oil from wildlife. The American Chemical Society will help visitors make bouncing balls using polymers. And visitors to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum table and stage show will launch balloon rockets and learn about the forces of flight.

Middle- and high-school students also are encouraged to participate in a series of short, interactive presentations by leading scientists during Family Science Days.

The 2011 Meet the Scientists series will include performance artist Lelavision with Professor David Lynn exploring the evolution of life through a unique fusion of dance and music; Lynford Goddard, winner of the first-ever AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, guiding attendees through an LED demonstration; and Hod Lipson demonstrating 3D bio-printing during a presentation on biologically inspired robots. Other presentations will focus on computer science, mathematics, and physics.

Alice S. Huang
Alice S. Huang


Thursday-Sunday, 17-21 February
Washington Convention Center, East Salon

Plenary lectures provide an opportunity for meeting attendees to hear from world-renowned speakers who will discuss important progress on pressing science, technology, and policy issues, and share insights into future directions. The lectures are free and open to the public.

John P. Holdren
John P. Holdren

The meeting will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 17 February, with the AAAS President’s Address by Alice S. Huang, a distinguished virologist at the California Institute of Technology.

Other plenary speakers and panels:

  • John P. Holdren, assistant to the U.S. president for science and technology and a former AAAS President at 5 p.m. on Friday, 18 February;
  • Frances H. Arnold
    Frances H. Arnold

    Frances H. Arnold, professor of chemical engineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology at 5 p.m. on Saturday, 19 February;

  • A plenary panel on biosecurity, moderated by anthropologist Jeanne Guillemin at 5 p.m. on Sunday, 20 February, will include global infectious disease experts Rita R. Colwell and Anthony S. Fauci; genome sciences expert Claire M. Fraser-Liggett; and U.S. Congressman Rush Holt, a physicist and specialist in arms control; and
  • Graham Walker, a biologist and education expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at 8:30 a.m. on Monday 21 February.

Registration for these free events is required on-site at the Washington Convention Center, outside of Exhibit Hall D.


Friday-Sunday, 18-20 February, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Times and locations vary

The AAAS Annual Meeting is rich with activities for professional and career development. Activities are designed for everyone regardless of degree level or career stage and offer many opportunities for networking and meeting colleagues and peers.

Career Development Workshops for scientists, students, and others are planned throughout the weekend and will cover topics ranging from basic skills such as interviewing to more advanced subjects such as dealing with career transitions and communicating with the U.S. Congress. The Program of Public Events and Science Careers Guide, containing a list of workshops and other open events, is available at registration, Washington Convention Center, outside of Exhibit Hall D. In addition, many Exhibitor-Sponsored Workshops will take place during the AAAS Annual Meeting.


Friday-Sunday, 18-20 February, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Washington Convention Center, Exhibit Hall D

About 150 exhibitors from around the globe will showcase their programs, products, and services. For example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will display its Science on a Sphere®, which is an animated globe designed to show dynamic images and data of the atmosphere, ocean, or surface of a planet or moon. Exhibits from the U.S. Department of Energy will feature many national laboratories that perform research ranging from neutron scattering and alternative energy to climate monitoring and the mysteries of physics. The U.S. National Science Foundation will show how it supports scientific, technological, and engineering innovation. Also exhibiting are research entities from countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Kuwait. Award-winning authors and illustrators of science books for children and young adults will be available at a special book signing event on Saturday 19 February, from 1 to 4 p.m., and on Sunday 20 February, from 10 a.m. to noon.


Learn more about free events at the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting.

Get registration and program information for the AAAS Annual Meeting, 17-21 February in Washington, D.C.