Get to know your fellow AAAS members through profiles, special features and our 5 Things About Me series.

  • July 12, 2016

    Advocating for prisoners of conscience; using satellite photos to help investigate war crimes; reuniting families of “disappeared” dissidents: It sounds like a list of extraordinary goals.

    But for AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights & Law Program experts, it’s all part of the job. The program helped pioneer the use of research to document everything from the killings of political prisoners by military regimes in South America to the destruction of antiquities in the ongoing Syrian civil war. It’s brought hope to researchers jailed by dictatorial regimes and helped put some of those tormentors on trial. »

  • July 11, 2016

    As a teenager in London, Philip Shapira watched manufacturing evolve from the shop floor of Semnat Glass Works, a company that employed his father, grandfather, and uncles for decades.

    “There was a little bit of automation in the factory, but it was not comprehensive and it was not integrated. Looking back now, I see that there are so many things they might have done that they didn't,” Shapira said. »

  • July 8, 2016

    Biologist Michael Skinner isn’t one to shy away from a good fight. In fact, prominently displayed on his webpage are the words: “If you are not doing something controversial, you are not doing something important.”

    A rebel by nature, the 60-year-old AAAS Fellow is fond of quoting Thomas Kuhn, best known for his treatise describing how scientific beliefs—called paradigms—are established and then torn down. For the last decade, Skinner has been tearing down biology’s bedrock, its paradigm par excellence: genetic determinism, the idea that DNA is destiny. »

  • July 1, 2016

    Katie Byrd
    Teacher, James Baldwin School, New York

    Background: Katie Byrd covers geosciences at the James Baldwin School for Expeditionary Learning, a public transfer school in Manhattan for over-age, under-credited students. She teaches a climate change course that culminates in independent student research on urban climate adaptations, as well as classes on urban ecology, nutrition, and astrobiology.

    Question 1: What fuels your passion for science and teaching? »

  • June 29, 2016

    Cynthia Kuhn’s switch from geology to psychopharmacology began with a bummer. In the 1960s, Kuhn was an undergraduate at Stanford, and as she puts it, “obsessed with volcanoes,” which was a rare pursuit for women back then. So rare, in fact, that when it came time to do her required summer fieldwork, Kuhn was the only woman signed up. Not willing to send her into the field “with the boys,” Kuhn’s supervisor barred her from going on the trip, effectively extinguishing her dreams of volcanology. Ever resilient and inquisitive, Kuhn soon found a new obsession, one that was a sign of the times. »