WASHINGTON—Next week's annual meeting in Chicago will permit the American Association for the Advancement of Science to carry out its fundamental mission of promoting the public understanding of science. But something of even greater importance to the 139-year-old organization will take place after the meeting, when a successor to Executive Director William Carey will be announced. Carey, 70, is retiring March 31 after serving for a dozen years as head of the oldest, largest and most prestigious general science membership organization in the United States. The new executive director, according to authoritative sources, will be Alvin Trivelpiece, director of energy research at the Department of Energy since 1981. The Association declined to comment on the report.

The last six months have been a hectic and anxious time for an organization that prefers to take a cautious, gradual approach to the myriad issues facing the scientific community. And the future poses...

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