Science—and Its Communication—Transcending Boundaries: Some Highlights of the 2019 AAAS Annual Meeting


The 2019 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), held  February 14–17 in Washington, DC, bore the title “Science Transcending Boundaries.” Thus, at this wide-ranging scientific meeting, some sessions on communicating science addressed the spanning of boundaries, including those between sectors, media, genders, or publication models. The following summaries focus on some sessions that science editors and those in related fields may find of particular interest. Communicating Science Seminar By Christina B Sumners A daylong seminar on communicating science preceded the formal opening of the 2019 AAAS annual meeting. The following are some highlights. The seminar also included a session titled “Strategies for Sustaining Public Engagement in a Research Career,” a networking fair, and a variety of additional breakout sessions. “Connecting Science and Policy: Opportunities for Dialogue with Policymakers” In this session, three speakers presented their experience in and advice for communicating science to policymakers. Elizabeth Suhay, of the American University School of Public Affairs, pointed out that evidence isn’t the only thing that influences policy. Understanding more about other factors and about how the government works more generally can aid in planning an effective communication approach. One way to connect with policymakers, she said, is to take advantage of whatever connections—geographic, organizational, personal, topical—might already exist. For example, approaching a legislator as a constituent might be a way to use a common geography to begin the conversation. For more, Suhay recommended a website she created based on her research, https://www.american.edu/spa/scicomm/. Sarah Brady, of the […]

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