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Public Policy Report for 27 October 2008

NAS Announces Committee, Meeting: Century of Biology Report

On 21 October 2008 the National Academies announced that it was accepting comments on the committee membership for the forthcoming report, "A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring that the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution." The announcement indicated that the comment period would be open for a week. The current membership, as it appears on the NAS website, is listed below. The NAS has also announced the Committee's first two meetings: 4 November 2008 and 3 December 2008. For details about these meetings, the project, or to provide feedback to the NAS, please visit the project website at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=48967 .

Dr. Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. - (Co-Chair), E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company

Thomas M. Connelly, Jr. is executive vice president and a member of the Office of the Chief Executive for E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. He also has responsibility for DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition and DuPont Applied BioSciences. He joined DuPont in 1977, as research engineer at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware. He held a number of technical leadership roles including laboratory director in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. He led a number of major DuPont businesses including Delrin® and Kevlar®. In January 1999 he was named vice president and general manager - DuPont Fluoroproducts. He was named senior vice president and Chief Science & Technology Officer in September 2001. He was appointed to his current position in June 2006. Dr. Connelly was born in Toledo, Ohio. He graduated with highest honors from Princeton University with degrees in chemical engineering and economics. As a Winston Churchill Scholar, he received his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. He serves in advisory roles to the U.S. Government and the Republic of Singapore.

Dr. Phillip A. Sharp - (Co-Chair), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Phillip A. Sharp is Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Much of Dr. Sharp's scientific work has been conducted at MIT's Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute), which he joined in 1974 and directed from 1985 to 1991. He subsequently led the Department of Biology from 1991 to 1999 before assuming the directorship of the McGovern Institute from 2000-2004. His research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. This discovery, which fundamentally changed scientists' understanding of the structure of genes, earned Dr. Sharp the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His lab has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). Dr. Sharp has authored over 350 scientific papers. He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, and has served on many advisory boards for the government, academic institutions, scientific societies, and companies. His awards include the Gairdner Foundation International Award, General Motors Research Foundation Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Prize for Cancer Research, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science and the inaugural Double Helix Medal from CSHL. He is elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, KY in 1966, and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969.

Dr. Dennis A. Ausiello, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dennis A. Ausiello, MD, is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has made a substantial contribution to knowledge of epithelial biology in the areas of membrane protein trafficking, ion channel regulation and signal transduction. He has published numerous articles, book chapters and textbooks and currently serves as the co-editor of The Cecil Textbook of Medicine, now in its 23rd edition. A nationally recognized leader in academic medicine, Ausiello was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe on health subjects, including human genetics, clinical trials and the relationship between the academy and industry.

Dr. Cornelia I. Bargmann, The Rockefeller University

Dr. Bargmann received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Georgia. She studied for her Ph.D. under Robert Weinberg at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating in 1987. She pursued a postdoctoral fellowship with H. Robert Horvitz, also at MIT, until 1991, when she accepted a faculty position at the University of California, San Francisco. She remained there until 2004, when she joined the Rockefeller University as the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor. Dr. Bargmann also is associate director of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Center for Mind, Brain and Behavior. Dr. Bargmann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the 2004 recipient of the Dargut and Milena Kemali Prize for Basic and Clinical Neuroscience and received the Charles Judson Herrick Award for comparative neurology in 2000. She was awarded the Takasago Award for olfaction research in 1997 and the W. Alden Spencer Award for neuroscience research in 1997. Dr. Bargmann is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Ingrid C. Burke, University of Wyoming

Ingrid C. "Indy" Burke is currently Director of the Haub School and Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. She also is a Professor and holds a Wyoming Excellence Chair in the Department of Botany. Indy is an ecosystem ecologist with particular expertise in the effects of land use management on soil nutrient cycling in western semiarid ecosystems. She has served on the NRC Board of Environmental Science and Toxicology, and a number of NRC committees, as well as National Science Foundation, NASA, DOE, and EPA committees. Indy recently moved to Wyoming from Colorado State University where she was a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar.

Dr. John E. Burris, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

John E. Burris became president of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in July 2008. He is the former president of Beloit College. Prior to his appointment at Beloit in 2000, Dr. Burris served for eight years as director and CEO of the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA. From 1984-1992 he was at the National Research Council/National Academies where he served as the executive director of the Commission on Life Sciences. A native of Wisconsin, he received an A.B. in biology from Harvard University in 1971, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison in an M.D.-Ph.D. program, and received a Ph.D. in marine biology from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego in 1976. A professor of biology at the Pennsylvania State University from 1976 to 1985, he held an adjunct appointment there until coming to Beloit. His research interests were in the areas of marine and terrestrial plant physiology and ecology. He has served as president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences and is or has been a member of a number of distinguished scientific boards and advisory committees including the Grass Foundation, the Stazione Zoologica "Anton Dohrn" in Naples, Italy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan. He has also served as a consultant to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Science and Human Values.

Dr. Jonathan A. Eisen, University of California, Davis

Dr. Eisen is an evolutionary biologist at the UC Davis Genome Center. He received his A.B. cum laude in Biology from Harvard College in 1990 and graduated Cum Laude in Biology. He received his Ph.D in biological sciences from Stanford University in 1998 for Biological Sciences. From December 1998 until his move to Davis, he was an Assistant Investigator at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Rockville MD. He is the Academic Editor in Chief of PLoS Biology, and co-author of the textbook "Evolution." Dr. Eisen has published over 100 academic papers. His lab's current research focuses on understanding the genomic basis for the origin of new functions and processes in microorganisms through genome sequencing.

Dr. Jay D. Keasling, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Jay Keasling received his B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Nebraska in 1986; his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991; and did his postdoctoral work in Biochemistry at Stanford University from 1991-1992. Dr. Keasling joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley as an assistant professor in 1992, where he is currently professor. Dr. Keasling is also a professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Berkeley, a faculty scientist and Director of the Physical Biosciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Director of the Berkeley Center for Synthetic Biology. Dr. Keasling has received several awards, including the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation and the AIChE Award for Chemical Engineering Excellence in Academic Teaching, and has given several award lectureships, including the Inaugural Schwartz Lectureship at Johns Hopkins University and the Allan P. Colburn Memorial Lectureship at University of Delaware. Dr. Keasling's laboratory has engineered microorganisms to produce polymers and the anti-malaria drug artemisinin, as well as to accumulate uranium and to degrade nerve agents. Dr. Keasling is also a founder of two companies, Amyris Biotechnologies and Codon Devices, that have grown out of discoveries from his laboratory.

Dr. Peter S. Kim, Merck Research Laboratories

Peter Kim is the current President of Merck Research Labs. He has extensive experience working as an investigator for Howard Hughes Medical Institute and as Professor and Associate Head of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his A.B. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Stanford University in 1985. Dr. Kim is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. He is also a fellow at the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Biophysical Society. Dr. Kim also serves as a member of the Division on Earth and Life Studies, and the Institute of Medicine Council. He is presently on the Board of Directors for the Fox Chase Cancer Center and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Dr. Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Douglas A. Lauffenburger is Uncas & Helen Whitaker Professor of Bioengineering and Head of the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, and also holds appointments in the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Lauffenburger's BS and PhD degrees are in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois and the University of Minnesota, in 1975 and 1979 respectively. His major research interests are in cell engineering: the fusion of engineering with molecular cell biology. Lauffenburger has coauthored a monograph entitled Receptors: Models for Binding, Trafficking & Signaling, published by Oxford University Press in 1993 and reprinted in 1996. Professor Lauffenburger has served as a consultant or scientific advisory board member for Astra-Zeneca, Beyond Genomics, CellPro, Eli Lilly, Entelos, Genstruct, Insert Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Precision Therapeutics, SyStemix, the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund, and the Whitaker Foundation. His awards include the Pierre Galletti Award from AIMBE, the A.P. Colburn Award, Bioengineering Division Award, and W.H. Walker Award from AIChE, the Distinguished Lecture Award from BMES, the C.W. McGraw Award from ASEE, the Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering from the Engineering Foundation, and a J.S. Guggenheim Fellowship, along with a number of named lectures at academic institutions. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and has served as President of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Chair of the College of Fellows of AIMBE, and on the Advisory Council for the National Institute for General Medical Sciences at NIH.

Dr. Mary E. Lidstrom, University of Washington

Dr. Lidstrom is a Professor of Microbiology and holds the Frank Jungers Chair of Engineering, in the Department of Chemical Engineering, at the University of Washington, Seattle. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. After receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Lidstrom conducted work as a Leverhulme postdoctoral Fellow in Microbiology at the University of Sheffield. Dr. Lidstrom has previously held academic appointments in Microbiology at the Unversity of Washington, in the Center for Great Lakes Studies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and in Environmental Engineering Science at the California Institute of Technology. She currently is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Bacteriology and FEMS Microbial Ecology. Dr. Lidstrom is the Vice Provost of Research.

Dr. Wendell Lim, University of California, San Francisco

Wendell Lim is Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is Director of the UCSF/UCB NIH Nanomedicine Development Center and Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center.

Dr. Margaret Jean McFall-Ngai, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Margaret Jean McFall-Ngai received her Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA in 1983. Following postdoctoral positions in protein biochemistry at UCLA Medical School and UC San Diego, she held a faculty position at University of Southern California, where she was awarded tenure in 1994. In 1996, she moved to the University of Hawaii, Manoa, to the Pacific Biomedical Research Center, and then on to a professorship in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in June 2004. Her laboratory studies the influence of beneficial bacteria on health and disease using the squid-vibrio animal model system, the development of which she has pioneered with colleagues in microbiology. She was the principal organizer for a recent meeting at the Rockefeller Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, the proceedings of which appear in a recent book, The Influence of Cooperative Bacteria on Animal Host Biology, (McFall-Ngai, M.J., Henderson, B., and Ruby, E.G., eds.) 2005, Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Elliot M. Meyerowitz, California Institute of Technology

Elliot Meyerowitz is currently George W. Beadle Professor of Biology and Chair, Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Meyerowitz earned his A.B. from Columbia University, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from Yale University. He joined the Caltech faculty after a postdoctoral period at the Biochemistry Department of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Meyerowitz was a Drosophila expert before he became a pioneer of Arabidopsis research. Dr. Meyerowitz is well known for his contributions on the genetic and molecular basis of plant hormone reception, and on the molecular mechanisms of pattern formation in flower and shoot apical meristem development. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a foreign member of the French Académie des Sciences and the Royal Society.

Dr. Peter Small, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Peter Small is a Senior Program Officer for Tuberculosis at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing and implementing the foundation's tuberculosis activities. Small trained in internal medicine at UCSF and infectious diseases at Stanford University. Immediately prior to joining the foundation in September of 2002, he was on the faculty of Stanford's Division of Infectious Disease and Geographic Medicine where he was actively involved in research, teaching and patient care. His research interests include multiple aspects of tuberculosis, but is focused on the nature and consequences of genetic variability within the species M. tuberculosis. Initially this involved collaborative efforts with basic scientists, public health officials and clinicians to use of molecular epidemiologic techniques to address pragmatic questions about the control of tuberculosis. This work included population based field research projects in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. He is currently a Professor at the Institute of Systems Biology where his laboratory is focused on the use of genomic approaches such as DNA microarrays and sequence analysis to answer more fundamental questions about mycobacterial ecology and evolution. He served as a member of the Institute of Medicine's committee addressing the elimination of tuberculosis in the United States and currently serves as a member ot the WHO Stop TB Coordinating Board. In 2002 he was awarded the Princess Chichibu Global Tuberculosis Award for his pioneering contributions to global tuberculosis control.

Dr. Shoshana J. Wodak, University of Toronto

Dr. Shoshana Wodak obtained her PhD degree from Columbia University in New York, USA. She has been a Professor at the Free University of Brussels for over 20 years, where she founded and co-directed the Centre of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics and started a Masters¹ program in Bioinformatics with colleagues in 2001. She occupied the position of Group Leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) between 1996 and 2001. She is presently the Scientific Director of the Centre for Computational Biology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and is a faculty member of the Departments of Biochemistry and of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. Dr. Wodak's research interests span the fields of computational structural biology, bioinformatics and proteomics.

Dr. Keith R. Yamamoto, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Keith Yamamoto is Chairman of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Vice Dean for Research of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He has been a member of the UCSF faculty since 1976, Chairman of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology since 1994, and was appointed as Vice Dean for Research in 2002. Dr. Yamamoto's research focuses on the mechanisms of signaling and gene regulation by intracellular receptors, which mediate the actions of several classes of essential hormones. His research on ligand-induced transcriptional control stands as a paradigm for linking receptor function and gene regulatory events in the nucleus that mediate transcription of key developmental and growth control processes. He and his colleagues have described their research in over 150 published studies. Dr. Yamamoto is the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Biology of the Cell. Additionally, he serves on numerous editorial boards and scientific advisory boards, and national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biomedical research, and science education. Dr. Yamamoto has played a key role in recent changes to the grant peer review process at the National Institutes of Health, most recently serving as Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) (1996-2000) and a member of the CSR Panel on Scientific Boundaries for Review (1998-2000). Dr. Yamamoto was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1988, the National Academy of Sciences in 1989, and as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2002.

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NSC Alliance Surveys Collections about Effects of Economy

The Natural Science Collections Alliance (NSC Alliance), the United States' leading nonprofit association serving natural science collections, their human resources, and the institutions that house them for the benefit of science and society has launched a survey to identify how the current global financial meltdown may affect natural science collections.

Natural science collections include natural history museums, herbariums, botanic gardens, genetic resource centers, mineral collections, and much more. They are, in essence, resources from and about the natural world.

The NSC Alliance is conducting this survey which was developed in collaboration with the Public Policy Office of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Members of the NSC Alliance are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities, and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

NSC Alliance President Dr. Michael A. Mares describes the survey as an important step in determining the scale and scope of the economic challenges facing natural science collections and museums in fulfilling their scientific research and education missions. Mares notes that some smaller science collections were suffering from poor budgets and inadequate staffing before the current economic crisis. Moreover, many of the important federal agency programs (such as those of the National Science Foundation) that award competitive, peer-reviewed grants to natural science collections have not enjoyed significant budget increases recently. Government agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, and others, also house natural science collections; these agency budgets have been tight for years.

Mares, Director of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, urges all natural science collections to complete the survey. "These data will help inform strategies that may help us survive this challenging time," he said.

The NSC Alliance online survey remains open until 12:00 PM eastern time on Thursday, 30 October 2008. The NSC Alliance plans to repeat the survey in 2009. "This economic spiral is happening quickly and we need to try and understand how it will impact our institutions," said Mares.

For information about the survey, visit http://nscalliance.org/?p=87.

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NOAA and NIH Heads Step Down

Conrad Lautenbacher, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, has announced that he will leave his post on 31 October 2008. Filling in for Lautenbacher will be William Brennan, Ph.D., who will serve as the Acting Administrator of NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] until the next Presidential administration. Brennan is currently Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator of NOAA

Lautenbacher, a retired Navy Vice Admiral, has been with the Administration almost seven years. During his time at NOAA, he oversaw the establishment of the world's largest marine protected area in the Hawaiian Islands. During the same period, however, the agency was accused of censoring agency scientists and criticized for inadequate funding for climate and weather satellites.

"I am leaving essentially at the time of the election when all the work of this congress is over," Lautenbacher said. "It's the end of the administration. NOAA is a politically appointed position, and, as much as I don't like the concept that I am a political appointee, it is time to go."

Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has announced that he will step down at the end of October. Dr. Zerhouni has been with the NIH since 2002. During his tenure, the agency launched the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research program with the goal of bringing various NIH groups together to fund research initiatives that could have a major impact on science. Zerhouni has also been criticized by some in the scholarly publishing community for his implementation of open access publishing requirements.

"Elias has been a powerful voice for the medical research community as head of the NIH." said Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt. "His many achievements include promotion of genetic research, support for advances of biodefense research and helping raise awareness of women's heart disease."

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Engineered Animals for Food an Pharmaceuticals

ENGINEERED ANIMALS FOR FOOD AND PHARMACEUTICALS

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates genetically engineered (GE) animals under the Federal Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations. FDA is now issuing guidance on how it intends to apply these regulations, titled "The Regulation of Genetically Engineered Animals Containing Heritable rDNA Constructs". The guidance itself is not legally binding but will describe the agency's interpretation of law. It will not apply to laboratory animals for research purposes, only food and pharmaceutical GE animals. Critics of FDA regulation argue that current regulation is inadequate, and warn of possible environmental, ecological and physiological hazards of bioengineered animals. The 25-page document is available at www.fda.gov/cvm/GEAnimals.htm, and is open to public comment until 18 November at http://www.regulations.gov/ under reference Docket FDA-2008-D-0394.

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New in BioScience: "Science Advice for the Next President"

In the Washington Watch article in the October 2008 issue of the BioScience, Robert Gropp reports on the scientific communities efforts to inform the next president on matters of science policy.

An excerpt from the article follows:

Next month, voters will choose the next president of the United States. Whether they elect Senator Obama or Senator McCain, the president's responses in coming years to national and global problems and opportunities will require access to scientific and technical expertise. Science and technology (S&T) policy organizations are thus working to provide recommendations and advice to both campaigns as they are undoubtedly already considering candidates for senior administration posts.

Many scientists believe that the current Bush administration has marginalized or ignored science. "I think many people feel that science has been politicized...especially in the areas of climate change, stem cells, and energy," said Samuel M. Rankin III, associate executive director of the American Mathematical Society. What science and public policy organizations are therefore attempting to communicate to Senators McCain and Obama is that …

Continue reading this article for free at http://www.aibs.org/washington-watch/washingtonwatch2008_10.html

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Now In the AIBS Webstore: "Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media"

NOW In the AIBS Webstore: "COMMUNICATING SCIENCE: A PRIMER FOR WORKING WITH THE MEDIA"

Evolution, climate change, stem cell research -- Scientists are frequently called upon to provide expert information on hot button issues that pervade the daily news headlines, yet most find themselves woefully unprepared for the bright lights of the television studio or leading questions from a newspaper journalist. A new publication from AIBS, "Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media," by Holly Menninger and Robert Gropp in the Public Policy Office, will prepare scientists for successful and effective media interviews.

Recognizing that many scientists are reluctant to engage in media outreach, "Communicating Science" outlines compelling reasons for scientists to interact with the media and describes key differences between journalism and science that may not be apparent to practicing scientists. Step-by-step, Menninger and Gropp walk scientists through the entire interview process - from appropriate questions to ask when a reporter calls to practical advice for looking and sounding one's best on-air or on-camera.

The information and advice in "Communicating Science" is presented in eight easy-to-read chapters that provide vital information for scientists new to media outreach, as well as a quick refresher for seasoned experts - an ideal text for a graduate course on science communication or a professional development course for students and faculty. The primer's authors speak from their own experiences as PhD scientists in the biological sciences with years of experience in media outreach.

The concise, user-friendly volume has several unique features that set it apart from other media guides for scientists. "Communicating Science" includes first-person interviews with nearly a dozen scientists who have successfully navigated print, radio, and television interviews. The scientists-including the "Island Snake Lady," Kristin Stanford, recently featured on the Discovery Channel show, "Dirty Jobs" - share advice and experiences on a number of topics, including safely speaking on behalf of an organization, avoiding trouble when discussing socially or politically controversial topics, and reflections on first interviews.

"Communicating Science" also provides worksheets to assist readers with interview preparation: building a message framework with talking points and transition phrases, developing analogies, and using illustrative props or images. It includes pages for readers to organize contact information of journalists with whom they have worked directly and those who have reported on stories related to their own research to keep as potential contacts for future story pitches.

"Communicating Science: A Primer for Working with the Media" is available now in the AIBS Webstore.

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