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Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS)

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

COOS Mission

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. Since its inception, COOS has not only expanded its mandate to include peoples with disabilities, but has helped instill the values of inclusivity, equity, and respect into the STEM community. 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.

Today, COOS continues to face challenges that undermine the progression of 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.

COOS Actions

Under this mission the Committee seeks to: 

  • To formulate and recommend principles and procedures to guide the Association in a continuing review of issues that affect diversity, equity, and inclusion in science, and to search for means that will effectively bring these issues to the attention of both scientists and others.
  • To encourage and assist the AAAS, its affiliates, and other scientific groups to develop to establish policies, procedures, and programs designed to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • To inform the direction of the AAAS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Unit and engage in the programs within the unit.
  • To 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.

The programs that COOS addresses and contributes to include:


American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Committee on Opportunities in Science (COOS)


Valerie Taylor, Argonne National Laboratory


David Asai, Hughes Medical Institute

Jason Grieves, Microsoft

Rigoberto Hernandez, Johns Hopkins University

Ayanna Howard, Georgia Institute of Technology

Stephen C. McGuire, Southern University (retired)

Lance C. Pérez, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Stephanie L. Pfirman, Arizona State University

Denise Sekaquaptewa, University of Michigan

Zaneta Thayer, Dartmouth College