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As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread around the world, many scientists and science communicators have been asking themselves: what can I do to help? They also wonder: will this experience change the way we prepare for and respond to pandemics, including the way we fund research? 

AAAS and the Science family of journals are applying formidable resources to keep the scientific community and the public well informed on the coronavirus pandemic.

This September, nearly 100 international teams comprised of “pilots” who use assistive devices and researchers, 1100 volunteers, and thousands of spectators will converge inside a stadium in Zurich for the second-ever Cybathlon. People with physical disabilities will compete in races that demonstrate how well assistive technologies perform in everyday tasks. This Olympic-style event, which also includes a scientific symposium earlier in the week, was the dream of Robert Riener, a professor of sensory-motor systems at ETH Zurich and a AAAS 2019-20 Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow. “I discovered that the actual needs of people with disabilities do not feed into the development of assistive technologies enough, and conversely that major research discoveries aren’t finding their way into practical application,” said Riener.

On February 15, 2020, the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science ran one of the first “town hall” sessions held at a AAAS Annual Meeting. Geared toward involving meeting participants in discussion, this town hall introduced the Center’s recent climate communication project, How We Respond, and showed one of the short films developed as part of it.

There is no single path to an STPF fellowship and it’s never too early to map out your science policy journey. Check out this collection of resources designed for: people counting down the days until the application opens this year; those who have their sights set on STPF in the future; and those who are wondering if a fellowship is right for them.

Seven STPF Alumni Fellows are Honored with New Title