Public Engagement Programs
The AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology provides scientists and scientific institutions with opportunities and resources to have meaningful conversations with the public.
Increasing awareness and understanding of public engagement and its benefits
Research from social scientists, including Anthony Dudo of the University of Texas, help inform AAAS's science communications training curriculum. | Atlantic Photography Boston
The Center participates in and disseminates research about science communication and public engagement, including:
- The Communicating Science program works closely with social scientists to inform training curriculum in science communication and public engagement.
- Center staff present talks on the value of public engagement and coordinate with colleagues at professional societies and other public engagement practitioners.
Demonstrating excellence in public engagement with science
A child participates in Family Science Days at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, Calif. | Atlantic Photography Boston
- The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science and Technology recognizes and rewards early-career scientists and engineers for excellence in public engagement.
- Family Science Days (including Meet a Scientist!) is held during the AAAS Annual Meeting in collaboration with local universities, science centers, and others. Thousands of families attend this free, two-day public event, and scientists attending the meeting have opportunities to see public engagement with science in action.
- AAAS is a founding partner of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.
In addition to annual events and programs, the Center leads or collaborates with others on special projects:
- What We Know supports improved climate change communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. The Center convened a panel of experts to develop and disseminate a report on the realities, risks, and responses to climate change.
- How We Respond significantly expands the discussion about responses to climate change begun in the What We Know initiative, focusing on how science supports communities’ work to assess and respond to the impacts of climate change, especially at the city to state level. The long-term goal of the How We Respond initiative is to help communities and decision-makers focus on solutions and take action on climate issues, grounded in both science and local needs.
- Building with Biology involves teams of synthetic biology scientists and informal science education (ISE) practitioners co-developing public engagement activities about the science and societal implications of synthetic biology.
Training scientists to communicate and engage with non-scientific audiences
AAAS Communicating Science Workshop | University of Maryland
- Communicating Science workshops provide communication skills, resources, and practice for scientists and engineers in the U.S. and beyond.
- Leshner Leadership Institute trains and empowers fifteen public engagement fellows each year to be agents of change in their communities and institutions. Each year’s cohort focuses on a science and society issue with opportunities for public engagement.
Building capacity for conducting public engagement with science
Nominations for the Leshner Leadership Institute are accepted between August and October each year.
- Communicating Science Seminar at the AAAS Annual Meeting convenes hundreds of scientists, public engagement researchers, and communication practitioners to discuss research and practice in science communication.
- Watch videos from previous seminars.
- Graduate Student Communication Training is a group working to connect graduate student communication training programs.
- Monthly discussion group of public engagement professionals at science societies to share updates and expertise and discuss common challenges.
- Trellis is a scientific communication and collaboration platform developed by AAAS. Join discussions with scientists, public engagement professionals, and communication researchers in the Public Engagement with Science Group on Trellis. If you are not already a member, request to join the Public Engagement with Science Group on Trellis.