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Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS)

The Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS) is a AAAS board-appointed committee. 

COOS History

In 1973, the AAAS Board of Directors appointed a Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS) to advise the Association on matters related to increasing the representation of women and minorities in science, engineering, and related fields. In 1975 the AAAS Board expanded the mandate of the committee to include addressing issues related to persons with disabilities. In addition, the resolution of the AAAS Council pertaining to non-discrimination of "sexual minorities" was directed to the attention of COOS. COOS has continued to expand its focus to other marginalized groups.  

Since its inception, COOS has helped instill the values of inclusivity, equity, and respect into the STEM community as well as within AAAS such as recommending individuals from diverse populations for nomination to all committees as well as persons who might be considered by the nominations committee to elected association positions. COOS members are distinguished by their unwavering dedication to inspire new generations of scientists and cultivate talent from underrepresented areas of society. Their commitment has allowed AAAS to support the professional development of peoples from all walks of life. 

COOS Mission

Today, COOS continues to consider the challenges that undermine the progression of individuals from marginalized populations with the scientific community. Members strive to incorporate practices and policies of inclusivity, equity, and respect into the framework of academic institutions across the country. By overcoming challenges brought forth by prejudice and biases, COOS hopes to spur new waves of ingenuity, innovation, and problem solving. 


  • Formulate and recommend principles and procedures to guide the Association in a continuing review of issues that affect diversity, equity, and inclusion in science; 
  • Highlight effective and promising strategies to increase equity and inclusion in science that might be incorporated within AAAS programs, policies and practices, and beyond; 
  • Encourage AAAS, its affiliates, and other scientific groups to develop to establish policies, procedures, and programs to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
  • Inform the direction of AAAS Inclusive STEM Ecosystems for Equity and Inclusion (ISEED) unit and engage in the programs within the unit and the relevant efforts of other AAAS program units;
  • Administer the AAAS Mentor Awards for those who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering fields and careers; and
  • Serve as the AAAS SEA Change Advisory Committee.

Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS) Roster


Rigoberto Hernandez, Johns Hopkins University


Rory Cooper, University of Pittsburgh

Ayanna Howard, The Ohio State University

Joseph Graves, North Carolina Agriculture & Technology University 

AnneMarie Horowitz, U.S. Department of Energy

Tonya M. Matthews, International African American Museum

Stephen C. McGuire, Southern University (retired)

Elizabeth Phelps, Harvard University

Valerie Taylor, Argonne National Laboratory

Zaneta Thayer, Dartmouth College

Michael Yassa, University of California, Irvine