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AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture

The AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture is an important opportunity to explore the environmental and societal challenges facing our planet through the lens of agricultural innovation and its applications in a global context.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation (RMF), and the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF) invite nominations for the

2020 AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture

Fall 2020
American Association for the Advancement of Science
1200 New York Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

The Lecture

We are seeking nominations for speakers who will discuss the transformation of global food systems to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The 2020 nominees should be well-respected scientists working at the forefront of pressing issues at the nexus of agriculture and society. They should have outstanding scientific contributions or significant policy accomplishments related to agriculture with demonstrated societal impact.

The lecture carries an honorarium of $5,000 and AAAS will cover standard travel and lodging expenses.

Nomination Instructions

Nominations should include the following information:

  • Nominator’s name and title, institutional affiliation, email address, and phone number
  • Nominee’s name and title, institutional affiliation, address (physical and email), and phone number
  • A summary of the basis of the nomination that illustrates the nominee’s accomplishments with respect to agriculture and society (not to exceed 500 words)
  • The nominee’s curriculum vitae (not to exceed 3 pages)

Candidates nominated but not selected in 2018 and 2019 may be re-nominated for the 2020 Lecture.

Submission Instructions and Deadline

All documentation should be submitted in PDF or Word format via email to Dr. Michael Fernandez, EPI Center Director, at For more information, please send Dr. Fernandez an email or call 202-326-7056.

Lecturer eligibility: Nominees may not self-nominate; nominations must be for individuals and not institutions; and members (and immediate family members) of the Selection Committee and staff of AAAS, RMF, and WFPF are ineligible.

The deadline for nominations has been extended.


The Lecture is sponsored by the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation; the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service, Forest Service, National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Mars Incorporated.

Past Lectures

2019 Lecture: Science and policy: their Yin and Yang dynamic and global food security

Presented by Robert S. Zeigler, Director General Emeritus, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines.


2018 Lecture: Does Agriculture have a Parallel Science Problem?

Presented by Alison Van Eenennaam, Cooperative Extension Specialist in the field of Animal Genomics and Biotechnology, University of California, Davis.

2017 Lecture

Joining Forces to Protect the Future of Agriculture and the Planet

Presented by Robert Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company

2016 Lecture

The Role of U.S. Research Universities in Meeting the Global Food Security Challenge
Presented by Randy Woodson, Chancellor of North Carolina State University

2015 Lecture

A University President’s Perspective on the Economic Importance of Pursuing a Unifying Message to Make Agriculture a National Priority
Presented by Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University

2014 Lecture

A Food and Agricultural Research Agenda to Deal with the Asteroids of the Future
Presented by The Honorable Daniel Glickman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

2013 Lecture
Food, Feed and Fuel from Crops under Global Atmospheric Change: Could we have it all in 2030?
Presented by Stephen P. Long, Gutgesell Endowed University Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences University of Illinois

2012 Lecture

Why Innovation in Agriculture Matters
Presented by Rob Horsch, Deputy Director for Research & Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2011 Lecture

Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food
Presented by Pamela C. Ronald, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis
and Co-author of Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food

2010 Lecture

Agricultural Research: Changing of the Guard, Guarding the Change
Presented by Roger Beachy,  then Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Charles Valentine Riley Examining an Insect. Charles Valentine Riley Collection. National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD

"…to promote a broader and more complete understanding of agriculture as the most basic human endeavor and... to enhance agriculture through increased scientific knowledge."
- Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation