NSF to Update Strategic Plan

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is updating its strategic plan, a process that occurs every four years. The scientific community is being invited to provide feedback on the vision, core values, goals, and objectives in the current plan. This input will help to shape NSF’s implementation of its mission to “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.”

The strategic plan has three goals:

  1. Transform the frontiers of science and engineering.
  2. Stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education.
  3. Excel as a federal science agency.

A summary of the plan is available here. The full plan is at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14043/nsf14043.pdf.

Comments should be filed by 27 September 2016 at https://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/strategicplan/feedback.jsp.

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EPA Creates New Chemical Advisory Group

Nominations are sought for the new Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals. The committee will provide independent advice regarding the scientific and technical aspects of risk assessments and pollution prevention measures to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The creation of the committee was directed by Congress in the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21 Century Act.

Nominations are due by 11 October 2016. The following disciplines of expertise are sought: human health and ecological risk assessment, biostatistics, epidemiology, pediatrics, physiologically-based pharmacokinetics, toxicology and pathology (including neurotoxicology, developmental/reproductive toxicology, and carcinogenesis), and chemical exposure to susceptible life stages and subpopulations. Learn more at https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-26/html/2016-20550.htm.

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New Opportunities to Advise the Federal Government

Several federal agencies have advertised vacancies on federal advisory boards that review the science underpinning policy decisions on water quality, Earth science, and marine protected areas. Learn about these opportunities to serve on the AIBS Legislative Action Center. Opportunities posted on the website are updated on a weekly basis. Learn more at http://policy.aibs.org/action.

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Conservation Careers Webinar Video

A recording of a recent webinar on careers in conservation and environmental biology is now available online. The event was part of the AIBS Leadership in Biology webinar series, sponsored by Burk Inc. Hear from individuals who have built successful conservation careers in non-profit, federal agency, and university settings. Watch the webinar at https://www.aibs.org/events/webinar/careers-in-conservation-environmental-biology.html.

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Deadline Approaching: Enter the Faces of Biology Photo Contest

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is sponsoring the 6th Annual Faces of Biology Photo Contest to find the best photos of scientific research. The competition recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers.

The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the competition must depict a person, such as a scientist, technician, or student, engaging in biological research. The research may occur outside, in a lab, at a natural history collection, at a field station, on a computer, in a classroom, or anywhere else research is done.

The First Place Winner will have his/her winning photo featured on the cover of BioScience, and will receive $250 and a one year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience. The Second and Third Place Winners will have his/her winning photo printed inside the journal, and will receive a one year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience.

Submissions must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time on 30 September 2016. For more information or to enter the contest, visit http://www.aibs.org/public-programs/photocontest.html.

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Expand your Broader Impact Skills: AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists

The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is offering a new professional development program designed to enhance the communication skills of scientists, particularly those interested in communicating with decision-makers and the news media. The program is an excellent way to develop new communication skills and identify effective methods for broadening the impact of research and education programs.

The AIBS Communications Training Boot Camp for Scientists expands on AIBS’ highly successful media and science policy training workshops. The Boot Camp meets the needs of everyone from graduate students to senior researchers and program administrators to newly elected professional society leaders.

The Boot Camp is an intensive, two-day, hands-on training program that will be held in Washington, DC on 7-8 December 2016.

Participants will learn:

  • How to translate scientific findings for non-technical audiences
  • How to tell a resonant story that informs decision-makers
  • How to prepare for and participate in a news interview, including broadcast interviews
  • How to prepare for and engage in a meeting with a decision-maker
  • How to protect your scientific reputation
  • How to identify and define the audience you need to reach
  • What policymakers want and need to know from a scientist
  • What reporters are looking for in an interview
  • How the nation’s science policy is developed and implemented

Participants will also have the opportunity for formal and informal discussions with science policy and communications experts working in Washington, DC. A course outline is available here.

AIBS Individual Members and individuals nominated to participate by an AIBS Member Society/Organization receive a $75 discount on registration.

Learn more about the program and register now at https://www.aibs.org/public-policy/communicationsbootcamp.html.

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Become an Advocate for Science: Join the AIBS Legislative Action Center

Quick, free, easy, effective, impactful! Join the AIBS Legislative Action Center.

The Legislative Action Center is a one-stop shop for learning about and influencing science policy. Through the website, users can contact elected officials and sign-up to interact with lawmakers.

The website offers tools and resources to inform researchers about recent policy developments. The site also announces opportunities to serve on federal advisory boards and to comment on federal regulations.

This new tool is made possible through contributions from the Society for the Study of Evolution, Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and the Botanical Society of America.

AIBS and our partner organizations invite scientists and science educators to become policy advocates today. Simply go to policy.aibs.org to get started.

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