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Published on Oct 30, 2009
The relationship between science and the rest of society has, over time, been a bit of a roller coaster. Although people consistently believe that the benefits of science outweigh its costs and risks, individual issues can generate substantial tension. The last decade has been a particularly difficult period, with issues like embryonic stem cell research and the teaching of evolution generating substantial tension. This talk will explore the evolving relationship between science and the broader community it serves.
Dr. Leshner has been Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Executive Publisher of the journal Science since December 2001. AAAS was founded in 1848 and is the worlds largest, multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society. Before coming to AAAS, Dr. Leshner was Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from 1994-2001. Before becoming Director of NIDA, Dr. Leshner had been the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Dr. Leshner has also held a variety of senior positions at the National Science Foundation focusing on basic research in the biological, behavioral and social sciences, science policy and science education.
Dr. Leshner received an undergraduate degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University. He also has been awarded six honorary Doctor of Science degrees. Dr. Leshner is an elected fellow of AAAS, the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many other professional societies. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and Vice-Chair of its governing Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH. Dr. Leshner was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Science Board in 2004.