AAAS Live Webcast: Science Is Not Enough

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time: 5:00-6:30 pm PST (8:00-9:30 pm EST)

The recent debates regarding the publication of the man-made H5N1 bird flu virus have brought the issue of communicating science into the public spotlight.

Why do so many political leaders and citizens remain unconcerned about climate change, water scarcity, fisheries depletion and a host of other science-related global challenges? Featuring three of the world’s most knowledgeable and compelling science communicators, the plenary panel Science Is Not Enough aims to address the role of communication in science.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is holding a live webcast from its 2012 Annual General Meeting, which will arm scientists, educators, students and citizens around the world with messages to help influence public perceptions and debate when the science supporting a position is not enough to carry the argument.

Log on to the webcast and live-Tweet your questions to #AAASMtg.

Participants in this 90-minute discussion will be:

James Hansen, whose testimony before Congressional committees in the 1980s helped raise broad awareness of the global climate change issue. Dr. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to powerful entities, for identifying ineffectual policies as “greenwash,” and for outlining the actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and other species on the planet. He is currently Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

Olivia Judson, who explores the intersection of science and society, focusing on such controversial issues as the actuarial use of DNA and the potential to grow human organs. Dr. Judson has presented science issues on television many times, most recently when she appeared in an episode of PBS's “Nova” about DNA connections to evolution. She has written a weekly blog on evolutionary biology for the New York Times Web site, called “The Wild Side.” She is currently a Research Fellow at Imperial College in London.

Hans Rosling, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software for converting international statistics into moving, interactive and enjoyable graphics. Dr. Rosling promotes a fact-based world view through increased use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. He presented the television documentary “The Joy of Stats,” which was broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2010. He is currently Professor of International Health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

AAAS President Nina Fedoroff will introduce the speakers, and the session will be moderated by Emmy-award winning journalist Frank Sesno, former CNN Washington bureau chief, who is currently Professor and Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.