Two AAAS members awarded Kavli Prize Friday, June 1, 2012 Every two years the Kavli Prize is awarded to scientists who work in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. In 2012 seven scientists were awarded the prize, including two members of AAAS: Ann M. Graybiel (neuroscience prize) and Mildred S. Dresselhaus (nanoscience prize) of M.I.T. NASA Communications Consultant Linda Billings 5 Things About Me: NASA Communications Consultant Linda Billings Member Spotlight July 17, 2014 AAAS Fellow Linda Billings has a unique job that combines her love of science and her background as a journalist. When she isn't busy consulting about communication issues for NASA's astrobiology and near-Earth object programs, she can be found listening to Jimi Hendrix or Lila Downs.  Can female LEGO figures attract more girls to science? Can female LEGO figures attract more girls to science? Driving Force June 11, 2014 LEGO, the famous building-block toy company, recently made an exciting announcement. They will soon release a new LEGO set called ‘Research Institute,’ which will contain all-female scientist minifigures—an astronomer, paleontologist and chemist—with accompanying science props. To LEGO, releasing this set will mean getting more money from science-obsessed collectors, but this move may have even broader ramifications. By explicitly providing girls with examples of female scientists as toys, LEGO could be planting seeds for future career choices. Should scientists support labeling GMOs? Capitol Connection June 2, 2014 On May 8, Vermont became the first state to require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The law will go into effect in July 2016, and also prohibits labeling products containing GMOs as “natural.” A labeling movement could be spreading nationally, with Connecticut and Maine having passed labeling laws that are contingent on neighboring states’ adopting similar laws. According to the Center for Food Safety, which supports labeling, 60 labeling bills have been introduced in 20 states. The question is now whether such labels are useful for consumers, many of whom fail to understand the science of GMOs. Neuroscientist shows kids the brain's wonders at science fest AAAS Serves May 24, 2014 This year, AAAS volunteers had a special role to play at the USA Science and Engineering Festival held annually in Washington D.C. The April 26-27 festival, which drew more than 350,000 people, included a phalanx of volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise—including 75 volunteers who assisted at the AAAS activity stations. Climate Voices Be a scientist-citizen with Climate Voices Friday, May 9, 2014 The sooner we act, the better our chances are for stopping or even reversing human-caused climate change. In order for this to happen, the public needs to be informed about the possible ramifications of human-caused climate change and what can be done to prevent them. A new project, Climate Voices, is dedicated to connecting scientists with the public by planning engaging conversations about these issues all across the country. AAASMC blogger Summer Allen recently interviewed Cindy Schmidt, who runs Climate Voices. VIDEO: Microbes eating away nation's sewer systems Video April 23, 2014 Tremendous numbers and diverse species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa exist in the air, in water systems, and on surfaces, forming microbial communities or “microbiomes.” All of the environments we build contain microbiomes: houses, offices, stores, hospitals, modes of transportation, and more. April SB&F April SB&F Download April 22, 2014 The April issue of SB&F features a special look at the new "Cosmos" series featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, and a look back at the original "Cosmos" with Carl Sagan. VIDEO: Microbiome research could ward off antibiotic resistance Video April 24, 2014 Tremendous numbers and diverse species of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa exist in the air, in water systems, and on surfaces, forming microbial communities or “microbiomes.” All of the environments we build contain microbiomes: houses, offices, stores, hospitals, modes of transportation, and more. AAAS recently invited legislators to learn about microbiomes at an event held on Capitol Hill. In this video, Amy Pruden, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Virginia Tech, discusses how they travel through our water supply and build resistance to antibiotics. Academics and the Wild West of social media Academics and the Wild West of social media Driving Force April 15, 2014 I am a big proponent of academic scientists using social media (see 10 ways scientists can benefit from Twitter and How to start sharing your science on social media). Yet, I’ve also become more aware of the potential risks associated with the use of these new forms of communication. In this post I will share some cautionary tales about social media use as well as some thoughts on how to avoid such problems.