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Science Elicits Hope in Americans – Its Positive Brand Doesn’t Need to Be Partisan

"...effective science communication depends on understanding the factors that influence public perceptions of science so that those doing the communicating – such as the research community, health professionals or governmental agencies – can advance greater public understanding of the science or motivate the actions of individuals, groups or society."

Read more at The Conversation.

AAAS Releases A DRAFT Plan To Address Systemic Racism In The Sciences

AAAS released a DRAFT plan to address systemic racism in the sciences as a follow-up to AAAS' participation in the STEM day shutdown that took place in June. AAAS strongly encourages comments and suggestions which can be sent to [email protected].

House released bipartisan RISE Act legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives released its bipartisan RISE (Research Investment to Spark the Economy) Act legislation (HR 7308) on June 24; on July 23 the Senate released the Senate RISE Act (S4286). This legislation would authorize $26 billion in relief for research workforce and institutions. 

FAS Congressional Science Policy Initiative

Sign up to be part of the Federation of American Scientists' (FAS) Congressional Science Policy Initiative (CSPI), a nonpartisan effort to help facilitate the engagement of scientists, engineers, technologists, and other experts with the US Legislative Branch to help produce evidence-based public policy. https://fas.org/congressional-science-policy-initiative/

July Chat Postponed

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

New Director Takes Helm at National Science Foundation

CSSP joins the science community in welcoming Sethuraman Panchanathan as the 15th director of NSF who has “… identified three pillars of his vision for NSF: advancing research into the future, ensuring inclusivity and continuing global leadership in science and engineering.”

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Science Magazine Reports on New Senate Science Bill

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators today proposed sweeping—and controversial—changes in how the federal government manages academic research in the face of threats from other countries.

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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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Supporting a Strong Civic Science Culture

As scientific societies, we have a unique opportunity to lead the broader scientific community towards a stronger culture of civic science, in which societal needs and diverse perspectives shape science, and scientific discoveries inform people, decisions, and policies. To that end, we are launching and circulating a sign-on values statement that asserts our commitment to civic science and urges others to increase their support for scientists’ engagements with diverse audiences.

We encourage any scientific society or professional association who shares these values to sign on to the statement and to adhere to the commitment by assessing the ways that you currently support civic science and exploring opportunities to expand your support.

By signing onto this statement, you signal to your membership and science institutions that your organization values this work and encourages more scientist engagement.

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Sen. Whitehouse & Dr. Cook-Deegan on the need to revive the OTA (op-ed)

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Dr. Robert Cook-Deegan share some history of the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), the nonpartisan science agency that used to service Congress in the 1990s; why it was eliminated and the value of bringing it back. Here are a few of their comments. The entire op-ed is available here

"...we’ve seen painful examples of what happens when science is sidelined. Without the OTA, unreliable and even deliberately false information fills the void."

"Or, perhaps worst of all, scientific information never makes it to Congress at all."

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ASBMB Sign On Letter to NIH Director

asbmb's RESPONSE TO THE NIH abruptly terminating funding for a years-long project

As you may be aware, the National Institutes of Health abruptly terminated funding for a years-long project studying novel coronaviruses and investigating the sources of emerging diseases. EcoHealth Alliance, the study sponsor for the project, was instructed to stop spending the remaining 2020 grant and all other grant funding has been canceled. 

Suddenly ending a grant early is a highly unusual move for the NIH. The only situations that warrant this action is when there is evidence of scientific misconduct or financial improprieties—neither of which took place in this case.  

The ASBMB invites your organization to sign onto this letter to Dr. Francis Collins calling for an explanation for why funding for this grant was rescinded, and for the independence of peer reviewed science from politically motivated interventions. Your organization can sign onto this letter by clicking here. The opportunity to sign on will remain opened until Friday, May 15, 2020.

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AAAS and AIP Sign On Letters Supporting Science

A brief, but important (and time sensitive) message regarding two sign on letters supporting science. Both letters are available to be read, and add your society's name from the links below. Please reach out to either the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) or the American Institute of Physics (AIP) for additional information, if needed.

AAAS response to the EPA supplemental ‘Secret Science’ Strengthening Transparency Rule

As you may know, the EPA has issued a supplement to the ‘Secret Science’ Strengthening Transparency Rule. AAAS has written the attached comments of concern which we plan to post to the federal register on the EPA deadline of May 18th. We are circulating these comments among our societies and it would strengthen our submission to get as much support as possible to show the EPA the broad coalition of those with the scientific, university and health communities that are concerned about this proposal. The final letter can be found here.

Please direct any questions to Sean Gallagher of AAAS at [email protected].

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ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Share Paper on NIFA Funding

CSSP members - the tri-societies  - the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America shared the following important information, which requires broader delivery. Should you have questions, please let us know and we will make sure to get those questions forwarded to the tri-societies 

"I want share with you the latest efforts to help the research community recover from the impacts of shutdowns during the COVID-19 crisis.

The tri-societies have been working with our partners to quickly develop a concept paper on the supplemental funding needs of NIFA. While imprecise due to all of the unknowns, we project NIFA will need around $150 million to provide up to 12 months of supplemental funding to existing grantees. The concept also envisions an additional $80 million investment in extension to increase its capacity to virtually provide essential programming and engagement services. This initial draft has been shared with House and Senate appropriators and the ag committees to ensure NIFA is included in the coming negotiations.

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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 Chat April 2020: The CARES Act

CSSP Chat April 2020: The CARES Act - Provisions, Protections & Process

Thursday, April 16th 12:30 pm EDT

Due to the changes happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP) has changed the topic for our next CSSP Chat. The value in improving collective understanding around the CARES Act passed by Congress last month, and being able to share what we have learned with you seemed to be a much more timely subject for this Chat. In our search to identify moderators who can help us all better understand this legislation we are pleased that Amir Eyal, CEO of Mylestone Plans, a financial services organization with a strong division focused on the needs of the nonprofit community, and Jennifer Shieh, Chief Scientist in the Office of Investment & Innovation with the Small Business Administration have accepted our invitation to moderate our April 16th CSSP Chat at 12:30 pm EDT: The CARES Act - Provisions, Protections and Process. 

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AAS Virtual Meeting Guide

If your society is also working on shifting your conference to a virtual format, the American Astronomical Society has compiled a very thorough list of resources and suggestions for how to make that happen. We are fortunate that they have offered to share this incredible resource with our societies.

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.