AIBS Summit

In a rare show of unity, the 57 presidents and other leaders affiliated with the 69 member societies of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) met in Warrenton, Va., for a first-ever Presidents' Summit. They hoped to begin to generate consensus among member societies on issues related to public policy, research funding, education, and careers. According to AIBS executive director Richard O'Grady, the nonbiomedical areas of biology that the 150,000-member, 52-year-old umbrella society represents have historically organized poorly as a large collective--in sharp contrast with AIBS's sister organization, the biomedical researcher-rich Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Preliminary AIBS objectives include increased and diversified research funding, improved communications between biologists and the public, safeguarding science education, and increased involvement in science-based public policy. But, says O'Grady, the AIBS isn't quite ready to sponsor lobbying. "We're still trying to function together effectively on just a sort...

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