Skip to main content

2020 Forum on Science & Technology Policy

The 45th Annual Forum on Science & Technology Policy

October 13 - 14, 2020

2020 Program Highlights

2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the AAAS Forum on Science & Technology Policy. We will gather to discuss major current challenges affecting science, policy and society, as well as their intersectionality.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic crisis is demanding unprecedented research speed, resources, collaboration, and results from the scientific community. At the same time, it is deeply disrupting the scientific research enterprise, educators, students, and academic institutions. The pandemic has exposed strengths and weaknesses within the scientific enterprise, as well as persistent societal inequities.
  • Ongoing worldwide demonstrations against racial injustice and police violence have emphasized the tragically persistent scourge of racism in our society. Mirroring the broader society, progress on racial justice and equity in science has been slow and insufficient. We strive for science to lead here, to provide pathways towards greater equity and justice in society, and a clear example of a just and inclusive enterprise.

Watch the 2020 S&T Policy Forum

Welcome, Introduction, Overview of Forum 
Maureen Kearney, Former AAAS Chief Program Officer

20-20 Vision from the Crises of 2020
Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus, AAAS
Marcia McNutt, President, National Academy of Sciences

An Overview of the Current U.S. Research and Innovation Model and A System Critique Based on the Coronavirus Experience
Moderator: Bill Bonvillian, Lecturer, MIT; Senior Director, MIT Office of Open Learning

Kaye Husbands Fealing, Dean, College of A&S, Georgia Tech
Jason Matheny, Director, CSET, Georgetown University
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Senior Fellow, MIT
Kathie Olsen, Founder and Director, KLO International

Coronavirus and the Performance of our Health Innovation System
Moderator: Michelle McMurry-Heath, President and CEO, BIO

Phyllis Arthur, VP, Infectious Disease and Diagnostic Policy, BIO
Hamilton Bennett, Director, Vaccine Access and Partnerships, Moderna
Robert Gabbay, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association
Reed Tuckson, Managing Director, Tuckson Health Connections
H. Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief, Science family of journals

COVID-19’s Impact on Researchers, Students and Universities: What Does It Mean for the Global Scientific Enterprise
Co-Moderators: Tobin Smith, Vice President for Policy, AAU and Kate Stoll, Senior Policy Advisor, MIT
Kyle Myers, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
Michaela Rickard, Co-founder, National Science Policy Network
Victor McCrary, VP, Research and Graduate Programs, University of the District of Columbia; Vice Chair, National Science Board 
Caroline Wagner, Associate Professor, Milton & Roslyn Wolf Chair in International Affairs, Ohio State University
Peter Schiffer, Senior Fellow, AAU, Professor of Applied Physics, Yale

Lessons from 2020: Critical Dimensions of a Healthy Science-Society-Policy System
Introduction: Claire Fraser, President, AAAS
Sudip Parikh, CEO, AAAS and Executive Publisher, Science family of journals

Systemic Racism in Science: In the Shadow of Slavery
Co-Moderators: Gilda Barabino, President, Olin College and Ann Reid, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education
Willie Pearson, Jr., Professor, History and Sociology, Georgia Tech
Enobong (Anna) Branch, Senior VP for Equity, Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University
Joseph L. Graves, Professor of Biological Sciences, NC AT&T State University

The Consequences of Systemic Racism in Science and Steps Towards a Better Future 
Co-Moderators: Joanne Carney, Chief Government Relations Officer, AAAS and Shirley Malcom, Senior Advisor and Director, SEA Change, AAAS
Joe DeSimone, Professor, Departments of Radiology, Chemical Engineering & Graduate School of Business (by Courtesy), Stanford University
Tshaka Cunningham, Chief Science Officer, TruGenomix
Amani Allen, Executive Associate Dean, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
Ann Quiroz Gates, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, University of Texas at El Paso

The Gilbert S. Omenn Grand Challenges Address
Introduction: H. Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief, Science family of journals
Freeman Hrabowski, President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
At a Crossroads: Science, Society and Inclusion

The 2020 William D. Carey Award Lecture

2019 Science & Technology Policy Forum

For Sponsors

If you are interested in sponsoring opportunities at the Forum, please contact the Office of Government Relations by email at

For Press

For Press registration, please contact Media by email at