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Kavli Lecturer Doudna Wins Nobel Prize

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents is excited to share that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna, CSSP 2016 Kavli Lecturer, along with Emmanuellle Charpentier, "for the development of a method for genome editing."

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

Researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks. “There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionised basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments,” says Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

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Good Science Must Guide Legislation

As a member of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents - CSSP Committee on Government Affairs, I was proud to help craft the bi-partisan letter "Good Science Must Guide Legislation" intended for all national, state, and local elected officials and candidates for office.

Few Key Points:

  • Good science assures the nation’s health, wealth, and national security.
  • The well-being of Americans is currently challenged on many fronts: pandemic, cybersecurity, climate change, healthcare, etc. Good science will help resolve these threats and provide hope for a future in which we can all be vested.
  • The United States must take the technological lead in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy resources.
  • The United States must regain a leadership position in renewable energy technology.
  • International collaboration is critical to the development of new technologies and health solutions. We should strive to attract the best and brightest international students and researchers to America, and incentivize them to remain here.
  • Sound scientific principles should be the major factor in legislating solutions to enhance the nation’s health, prosperity, and security.

Investment in science is investment in our future!

CSSP Chat Insights: Diversity and Equality

Our August CSSP Chat on Ensuring Diversity and Equity in STEM, led by Dr. Beronda Montogmery, brought to light many valuable ideas and thought processes around these issues. Introducing the idea gatekeeping or groundskeeping prompted lively discussion on ways to expand diversity through the cultivation and enactment of leadership philosophies and progressive vision rather than just looking at "skills and tactics." More information about this philosophy can be found in Dr. Montgomery's paper on "Academic Leadership: Gatekeeping or Groundskeeping?" published in the Journal of Values Based Leadership.

This timely conversation also included thoughts for ways in which to communicate how each society presents their culture to both current and future members. Included in those thoughts were:

  • Evaluating your society on its three “R’s”Representation, Reputation, Resources
  • Easy to embrace definitions - Diversity: being invited to the party. Inclusion: being asked to dance.
  • When considering diversity within your society, it's important to look beyond just the "numbers" and look to the practices and experiences that are lived and espoused as well.
  • Consideration for the language used when talking about these issues can also have a strong impact. An article on rethinking underrepresented language helps to see the influence that the language we use has on the way we see and are seen.
  • How and what to include in surveys to aid in garnering greater and more honest participation from members.

The CSSP Chats create an opportunity to talk with other leaders of science societies about the challenges and goals being faced by all, and to hear and share experiences for how they have been and are being addressed - including successes and failures. Our next Chat will be on the topic of Managing Personal Transitions: Leadership Skills and your next job and will be presented on Thursday, September 17th at 12:30 pm ET.

July Chat Postponed

The CSSP Chat for July has been postponed. A new date will be advertised soon.

New CSSP Brochure

CSSP releases a new brochure. Download the PDF.

CSSP Statement on Racial Equality

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) stands against all manners of racial injustice. The recent events in the US have clearly shown that African Americans are attacked, dehumanized and even killed because of the amount of melanin in their skin.

The epidermis is a very thin outer layer of our skin. It is only 1 millimeter in thickness, but it contains one of the few things that seems to justify millennia of oppression between humans: pigmentation. Were it not for this tiny layer of our skin, we would all appear very similar. Thus, at its core, racism is bigotry against the epidermis, and yet this minute human difference was enough for many of our nation’s historical leaders to enable beliefs in racial superiority.”

Haywood Brown, Tampa Bay Times, June 4, 2020

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Register now for CSSP's Virtual Leadership Workshop

Based on planning calls that have been taking place with our respected speakers we can say, with strong conviction, that you are going to want to make sure to register for the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) Virtual Leadership Workshop on May 2 - 4, 2020

Monday's session on developing a strategic framework will include an opportunity to engage in a strategic planning exercise, focusing on outcome based planning for your organization to create a vision, direction, and plan for its future. MICHAEL MOLONEY, CEO of American Institute of Physics (AIP), will share how AIP answered some imperative questions around "why they are" and "how they fit into the physical sciences" as well as some do's and don't's they learned along the way. JOEL SACHS, a Principal with the The Sachs Groups, will lead those attending through an interactive exercise so everyone can leave with a first cut for growth for their specific society.  He will work with Michael and AIP as example for each step and give time for the attendees to complete the step. 

Following this session - and each session - small group breakout rooms will allow participants the chance to network with one another, as well as with our speakers.

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Donald Kennedy

The Council of Scientific Society President (CSSP) extends its sympathy to family, friends and colleagues of Donald Kennedy, who died April 21, 2020, of COVID-19 at Gordon Manor, a residential care home in Redwood City where he resided for the past two years. Kennedy, 2004 recipient of the CSSP Support of Science Award, was an American scientist, public administrator, and academic. He served as Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1977–79), President of Stanford University (1980–92), and Editor-in-Chief of Science (2000–08). Following this, he was named president emeritus of Stanford University; Bing Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, emeritus; and senior fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

CSSP Speaker receives NAS Public Welfare Medal

Distinguished science and political communication scholar Kathleen Hall Jamieson will receive the 2020 NAS Public Welfare Medal for her “non-partisan crusade to ensure the integrity of facts in public discourse and development of the science of scientific communication to promote public understanding of complex issues.”  The medal is the Academy’s most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good.

Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, and program director of the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands.  She is a pioneer in the development of science communication as an academic field and has authored or co-authored 16 books and more than 100 book chapters and articles on science communication, the media, and politics and presidential campaigns. Jamieson is also the co-founder of the award-winning website FactCheck.org and its subsidiary, SciCheck, a resource for fact checking science-based claims.

Read more at the National Academy of Sciences.

CSSP Leadership Workshop Goes Virtual!

The dates have not changed (May 2-4, 2020), just the delivery method. We are working with our fantastic invited speakers to adjust their presentations to include content associated with the changes brought to both science and societies due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. During the past week, the Board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents has been working diligently on determining the most effective way shift our Spring Leadership Workshop to its exciting virtual format.

With generous assistance by Know Innovation (KI), a group of trained facilitators with a passion for science, CSSP is anticipating delivering all the great science and leadership content and conversations that you are accustomed to experiencing. KI will be working closely with CSSP to ensure we have the skills and knowledge needed to make our virtual workshop a reality.

While we finish working out the details, we want to make sure you keep the CSSP Spring Leadership Workshop on your calendar on these dates.

Moderator Announced for March Chat

CSSP is pleased to share that Scott Cotenoff of La Piana Consulting will moderate "Mergers, collaborations, and strategic alliances/partnerships - which one, when?" on Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 12:30-1:30 PM EDT.

 

OSTP Issues Request for Information

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued the following statements:

Request for Information: Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research. The comment period has been extended to April 6.
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-05/pdf/2020-04538.pdf

Request for Public Comment on Draft Desirable Characteristics of Repositories for Managing and Sharing Data Resulting From Federally Funded Research. The comment period has been extended to March 17.
https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-05/pdf/2020-04530.pdf

CSSP Position: Federal Support of STEM Education Board Approved

The Board of Directors of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents has approved an updated position paper on Federal Support for STEM Education.

Read the paper.

New "Leadership Notes" Posted

Executive Director, Cindy Paska has authored a new Leadership Note regarding the CSSP site change.

CSSP Presents Educational Research Award

Dr. Malcolm Butler presented the CSSP Educational Research Award for outstanding achievement in educational research that improved children’s learning and understanding  to Dr. Vincente Talanquer at the 2019 Winter Leadership Workshop on December 7, 2019.

 

CSSP Presents Support of Science Award

Dr. David Baltensperger presented the Support of Science Award to Senator Susan Collins in honor of her outstanding and dedicated support of US science, free scientific communication, and support of basic research on December 10, 2019 at the 2019 Winter Leadership Workshop.

 

CSSP Chat Schedule for 2020

CSSP Chat Schedule for 2020:
  • January 16, 2020 – Future Business Models for Science Societies
  • February 20, 2020 – Governance vs Management; the jobs of science society boards of directors
  • March 19, 2020 – Mergers, collaborations, and strategic alliances/partnerships – which one, when?
  • April 16, 2020 – Budgeting process: drafting, important features
  • May 21, 2020 – Managing the strategic planning process
  • June 18, 2020 – Identifying, Securing and Maintaining funding sources
  • July 16, 2020 – Ensuring Diversity and Equity
  • August 20, 2020 – Managing Personal Transitions: Leadership Skills and your next job
  • September 17, 2020 – Maintaining, growing and ensuring value for your membership
  • October 15, 2020 – Investments, endowments, and long-term funding
  • November 19, 2020 – Mentoring both scientists and science leaders
  • December 17, 2020 – The importance of publishing to scientific societies

CSSP Participates in State of Innovation 2020 Launch Event

Day One Project's State of Innovation 2020 launch event with an ambitious goal to identify and refine 100 actionable Science & Technology ideas for a future Administration or Congress to embrace.

The start of 2020 represents an opportunity to take stock of the state of American innovation and source new ideas and fresh perspectives for action both now and in the next presidential term—regardless of who wins.

The Day One Project's official launch event took place on January 23, 2020. The event featured a broad range of science and technology experts to kick off 2020 with a “State of the Union” on science, technology and innovation.

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John A. Downing Named 2019 AAAS Fellow

University of Minnesota Sea Grant Director (and CSSP member) John A. Downing has been elected a 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS is the world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.

Read more at https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-11/uom-uom112519.php