Programs: Science and Policy
About the Fellowships: History
"If academics are not involved
in communicating the implications of their scientific
knowledge we cannot adequately address our current challenges."
Jared Diamond, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Los Angeles;
author of Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, and
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, in an address in
Washington, January 30, 2004
The Science & Technology Policy Fellowships began
in 1973 with seven Fellows serving in congressional
offices, providing their scientific expertise to policy-makers
facing increasingly technical legislative issues. AAAS
now partners with nearly 15 federal agencies, many congressional
offices and committees, and nearly 30 professional scientific
societies to operate the AAAS Science & Technology
Policy Fellowships, which have been providing public
policy education and outreach experiences for scientists
and engineers for almost 40 years.
The fellowships provide the opportunity for scientists and engineers, from recent PhD recipients to senior-level professionals, to learn about policy-making while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal government. The Fellows, representing a broad array of science and engineering fields, bring a common interest in learning about the intersection of science and policy, and a willingness to apply their technical training in a new arena. The host offices value the Fellows for their external perspectives and critical thinking skills, as well as for their technical expertise.
The fellowship classes, which now number more than 250 Fellows annually, are a powerful resource, for each other and for the agencies and congressional offices in which they serve. The result is a network of more then 2,400 Fellows who are more articulate and knowledgeable about conducting and communicating their science to support policy at national and international levels, and more effective in leadership roles in the public and policy arenas as well as in academia, industry and the non-governmental sectors.
The Science & Technology Policy Fellowships have earned an impressive reputation, attracting significant interest from talented scientists and engineers across the country. AAAS currently receives nearly 400 qualified applications annually for the approximately 100 fellowship slots that it administers across the five program areas. An additional 30-35 Congressional Fellows (and some executive branch Fellows) are selected via partner scientific and engineering societies. The partner societies select and fund their own Fellows. Information about these opportunities may be found in the sponsoring societies section.