Skip to main content

Here’s Your Opportunity to Improve AAAS

The 2018 Member Survey is your chance to provide feedback

AAAS would not exist without the support and dedication of its members. We depend on you to volunteer, donate, and speak out in order to help us advance science. That is why it is so vital that we know you — what concerns you, what excites you, what inspires you — well.

In December 2016, the AAAS Membership Department launched a Research Team to ensure we had a strong knowledge of member characteristics, interests, and priorities. The Research Team designs and deploys surveys, targeted to new members, long-standing members, former members, and Science readers. To date, more than 26,000 members have completed a survey.

The 2018 Member Survey launched in September. Look for a link in your inbox.

AAAS Membership is for Everyone

According to the 2017 Member Survey, AAAS members come from all walks of life. Our newest members, those who joined in 2018, are the most diverse: 25% of new members identify as an ethnic minority and newer members are more likely to be women.  

Members are most likely scientists or engineers employed by a college or university. However, nearly a quarter (24%) do not work in a scientific field or science-related job at all.

AAAS is committed to increasing diversity in science, generally, and in membership. AAAS runs numerous programs fostering education in science and technology. These programs aim to lower barriers faced by women and minority groups and ultimately strengthen the workforce by empowering diverse voices. In addition to these long-standing programs, the Membership Department is actively recruiting populations who are traditionally underrepresented in science and technology. In winter 2018, the Department launched a membership campaign to attract more female members, and in summer 2018, the Department followed up with a broader diversity campaign.

Your Feedback Inspires Changes

The results from last year’s survey inspired programmatic changes.

Survey results tell us that showing public support for science is important to members. According to the 2017 Member Survey, members belong to the Association in order to support both formal advocacy and to show public support for science. The 2017 Member Survey asked members what contributed most to their decision to become and remain a AAAS member, and members rated items on a five-point scale where 5 = “Contributed a Lot” and 1 = “Did Not Contribute at All.” Members rated supporting formal advocacy and showing public support the highest, giving these items mean ratings of 4.16 and 4.04, respectively.

Members also believe that scientists and scientific organizations can do more to promote and defend the integrity of science. When asked how strongly they agreed with a series of statements about science and society using a five-point scale where 5= “Strongly agree” and 1= “Strongly disagree,” 2017 survey respondents most strongly agreed that

  • “Scientific voices need to speak up more forcefully and visibly in our society to support and promote science”
  • “Greater visibility of organizations such as AAAS can help create a positive view of science in our society.”
  • “People like me need support promoting science in our everyday lives”

AAAS is taking action in support of science and providing trainings and resources so that members can take action, too. AAAS articulates positions on critical science-related issues in public statements from the Board of Directors and Council, in letters to Congress and other public bodies, and in newspaper commentaries and broadcast interviews. AAAS holds workshops and events for scientists, policymakers, and the general public to engage and communicate. In response to member interest, we’re expanding our programming. This year, we will be piloting local membership initiatives, so that members can network and engage in their communities. 

Make Sure Your Voice is Heard

The Research Team launched its 2018 Member Survey on September 24, 2018, inviting members who had not participated in research this year. That survey closes on October 24. Participate this year and let AAAS get to know you. Don’t miss you chance to tell use what’s most important to you.

Related Focus Areas

Authors

Caitlin Jennings

Dana Brandt