Skip to main content

Superheroes and Nobel Laureates—Free to the Public—At 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting

SAN DIEGO—Families with children, teachers, early-career scientists, and all others with a curious mind are invited to events that are free and open to the public at the AAAS Annual Meeting, 18-22 February in San Diego, California. This is the first time in the association’s 162-year history that AAAS is meeting in San Diego.

With cutting-edge, plain-language 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 San Diego Convention Center, outside of Exhibit Hall B1. Here’s a summary of what you’ll be able to see and do:


Saturday—Sunday, 20-21 February, 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Exhibit Hall B1, San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive

Family Science Days will include hands-on activities and stage shows for families with children, teenagers, and young adults. You can attend for free, but plan to pick up a badge first in the Exhibit Hall.

General Atomics, for example, will offer an interactive booth and an engaging stage show to explore the concepts of plasma science and fusion energy through the world of arcs, sparks, and glow discharges. The San Diego Air & Space Museum will encourage visitors to learn about the basic forces that make airplanes and rockets fly, using simple household materials. And visitors to the San Diego Natural History Museum table will be able to peer into microscopes to see the big world of little insects and microfossils.

Middle- and high-school students also are being encouraged to participate in a series of short, interactive presentations by leading scientists during Family Science Days. The 2010 Meet the Scientists! series will include coral explorer Melissa Garren, “superhero physicist” Jim Kakalios, High Tech High’s Jay Vavra, earthquake expert Lucile Jones, and Nobel Prize winner in physics William Phillips.

This year’s AAAS Family Science Days offers an exciting lead-in to the second annual San Diego Science Festival, which will take place 20-27 March, culminating with Expo Day at PETCO Park.


Thursday—Sunday, 18-22 February
Room 6A/B, San Diego Convention Center

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 2010 Annual Meeting offers free, public lectures by two Nobel laureates, a key science adviser to President Barack Obama, and the first female director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as well as the leader of the global design effort for the International Linear Collider—the highest priority future project for particle physics worldwide.

AAAS President Peter C. Agre, 2003 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and leader of the recent U.S. science diplomacy delegations to Cuba and North Korea, will open the meeting with the annual President’s Address. He will be joined by Marye Anne Fox, chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, and Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm Inc., who will welcome attendees and comment on exciting science and technology developments in the San Diego area.

Other public plenary lectures are planned by Carol W. Greider, 2009 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday, 19 February; Eric Lander, co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 20 February; Marcia McNutt of the USGS, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 21 February; and Barry C. Barish, a leader in the field of particle physics, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday, 22 February.

Registration for these free events is required on-site at the San Diego Convention Center, outside of Exhibit Hall B1.


Friday—Sunday, 18-21 February
Room 6A/B, San Diego Convention Center

A host of topical lectures also will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 12:30 p.m. until 1:15 p.m. in the Convention Center.

A topical lecture series includes language and neuroscience expert Karen Emmorey; sustainability specialist Robert T. Fraley; stem cell researcher Lawrence S. B. Goldstein; Nobel Prize winning economist James J. Heckman; U.S. Under Secretary for Energy and engineer Kristina M. Johnson; earthquake sciences specialist Thomas Hillman Jordan; marine scientist Stephen Palumbi; safe water expert Kellogg Schwab; infectious disease specialist Steffanie Strathdee; and San Diego high school biology teacher Jay Vavra.


Friday—Saturday, 18-20 February, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 21 February, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The AAAS Annual Meeting is rich with activities for professional and career development. Sessions are designed for everyone regardless of degree level or career stage and offer many opportunities for networking and meeting colleagues and peers. Career-Building 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, including dealing with career transitions and communicating with the U.S. Congress. Career Guide to the Meeting contains a list of workshops and other open events; available at Registration, San Diego Convention Center, Exhibit Hall B1. In addition, many Exhibitor-Sponsored Workshops will take place during the AAAS Annual Meeting.

The first AAAS Annual Meeting took place in 1848 in Philadelphia, Pa. In 2007, the AAAS Annual Meeting drew some 8000 participants, including nearly 900 press registrants from around the world. Past meetings have featured such notables as Albert Einstein, former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and Google Co-Founder Larry Page.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.


Learn how to register for free events at the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting.