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News Release 11-036

NSF Director to Present Topical Lecture at AAAS Annual Meeting

"Collaboration and Competition: From the Stratosphere to the Street" is focus of NSF Director Subra Suresh's presentation on Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

14th street bridge spanning the Potomac River from Arlington, Va. to Washington, D.C.

NSF director delivers lecture in keeping with theme of AAAS annual meeting: Science without Borders.

February 16, 2011

View a video of NSF Director Subra Suresh's lecture at the 2011 AAAS Meeting.

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a sponsor of the 177th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which will include a topical lecture from NSF Director Subra Suresh.

This year's meeting will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., Feb. 17-21, 2011.

"The theme for this year's conference, Science Without Borders, stresses science's increasingly global nature and highlights the importance of utilizing multidisciplinary approaches to the practice of science," said AAAS President Alice S. Huang. "It challenges us to break down barriers and embrace diversity so we can leverage science to solve the urgent global problems we face and advance society."

Suresh will deliver a topical lecture, "Collaboration and Competition: From the Stratosphere to the Street," on Friday, Feb. 18, from noon to 12:45 p.m. in room 146A of the convention center. Suresh became NSF's director in October 2010. He served as dean of the engineering school and as Vannevar Bush Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A mechanical engineer who later became interested in materials science and biology, Suresh pioneered work on the biomechanics of blood cells under the influence of diseases such as malaria.

Additional NSF Activities

NSF is sponsoring two workshops:

The Science of Comedy - Communicating with Humor Science comedian Brian Malow will lead a discussion on the use of humor in science education. Participants will be introduced to fundamental comedy techniques, devices and styles. Malow will stress the importance of metaphors and analogies, passion and exaggeration, gestures and vocal variation--tools to increase engagement with a general audience. He will demonstrate that humor can be used not just to entertain but to help clarify concepts and make lessons memorable. This session will be offered twice: Friday from 11 a.m. to noon in room 158AB; and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 158AB.

Is Lecture a Dirty Word? In this interactive workshop, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows will immerse participants in inquiry-based lessons they use to engage students in science. Educators of kindergarten through 12th grade students and above are engaging students in the process of science, so that their classrooms are learner-centered. The workshop presenters will discuss how this is being done. This session will be offered on Saturday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in room 158AB.

Meet the Scientists during Family Science Days - free events, open to the public, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Washington Convention Center, Exhibition Hall D. Events will include hands-on activities and stage shows with broad appeal to children, teenagers, young adults and their parents.

NSF will sponsor a live, science-oriented performance, "Science and Art Performance: Exploring the Evolution of Life," conducted by the NSF Center for Chemical Evolution at Emory University. The performance will combine Lelavision's hybrid genre of art (kinetic musical sculpture, music and dance) with descriptions of David Lynn's research on the chemical origins of life, self-assembly, and molecular evolution. Lynn is an internationally-recognized researcher and teacher in the areas of molecular recognition, bioorganic chemistry and chemical biology. Four performances will take place on a separate stage during Family Science Days: Feb. 19 and 20 from 11:30 a.m. to noon and from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m in the Exhibit Floor Stage.

Among the symposia and seminars covering more than 150 topics spotlighting cutting-edge research in topics such as neuroscience, climate change, energy security and sustainability, and research areas such as cyberinfrastructure, chemistry and astronomy, dozens of NSF principles will play a leadership role in the sessions as discussants, moderators and presenters. Further, the research teams from several NSF-sponsored projects will also show their stuff to as many as 8,000 attendees from 60 countries this year's meeting hopes to attract.

Presentations by NSF Staff (click links for further information):

Friday, February 18

Learning Research and Educational Practice: How Can We Make Better Connections? Program Director for NSF's Science of Learning Centers Program Soo-Siang Lim, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Crowds and Clouds Former NSF Assistant Director for the Computer Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Directorate Jeannette Wing will present a paper on The Crowd and the Cloud: The Future of Online Collaboration, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Learning Research and Educational Practice: How Can We Make Better Connections? Janice Earle, senior program director in the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education and Research, Evaluation, and Communication Divisions of NSF's Directorate on Education and Human Resources, 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Telecoupling of Human and Natural Systems Thomas Baerwald, a Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems program officer at NSF, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, February 19

If Termites Can Do It, Why Can't Humans? Liu Shih-Chi, a program director in NSF's Sensors and Sensing Systems Division (discussant), 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 20

Design Thinking To Mobilize Science, Technology, and Innovation for Social Challenges Julia Lane, program manager, NSF's Science of Science Policy and Innovation Office to present at 9 a.m. on The Science of Assessment. Other presentations will be offered from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Bringing Innovation to International Development: New Actors, New Mechanisms DeAndra Beck, NSF program manager for Africa, Near East & South Asia Program and Mark Doyle, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at NSF, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. Jane Silverthorne, deputy director for NSF's Biology Division of Integrative Organismal Systems, will speak on Foundations and Government: New Partners in Development.

Monday, February 21

The U.S. Research Infrastructures Program for Environmental Research Timothy Killeen, assistant director of NSF's Geosciences Directorate to present on Research Infrastructures: The Emergence of Key Players for Environmental Research at 10:45 a.m. Additional presenters are scheduled from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

View the full AAAS Annual Meeting Schedule.


Media Contacts
Natasha Pinol, AAAS, (202) 326-7088, email:
Lisa-Joy Zgorski, NSF, (703) 292-8311, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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