The 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting was held last week in Austin, Texas, for the first time in the organization's history. Scientists, AAAS members, and other science enthusiasts descended upon the Texas capital city for formal and informal science conversations, awards ceremonies, professional development, interactions with the public, and revelations about recent research.
Highlights of the event include:
- Family Science Days, two days of talks, hands-on activities, and stage shows aimed at the hundreds of families who filtered through the Austin Convention Center. Kids could build their own greenhouse, take a virtual tour of the International Space Station, play with robots, and learn about ants.
- Plenary Lectures on topics as diverse as climate change, cancer, accelerating research, and the International Space Station. Speakers included former Vice President Joe Biden; Chan Zuckerberg President Cori Bargmann; Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University; and Ellen Ochoa, the director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. The plenary lectures, which lasted between 45 and 75 minutes, were livestreamed and have been archived for your viewing. (The President's Address and Reception has also been archived and includes the awarding of several prizes, as well as a talk by AAAS President Susan Hockfield on the convergence of biology with engineering in the 21st century. Hockfield's introduction begins 29 minutes into the video.)
- News briefings from scientists ranging from current research on new methods for tracking modern slavery, the latest developments on the National Climate Assessment, and the revelation that petroleum-based chemicals significantly contribute to urban air pollution. Other briefings focused on aliens, artificial intelligence, Picasso's art, aging, smart cars, and voter participation.
- Awards were presented for science writing, research, mentoring, public engagement, advancement, responsibility, and diplomacy, among others. Honorees include scientists who are still early in their careers as well as those with a long lifetime of achivement.
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