Introduction: A Year of Reckoning and Transition

A Year of Reckoning and Transition

If 2020 was a year of crisis, then 2021 was a year of reckoning and transition, with science once again taking center stage as the world responded to societal and public health challenges. We saw numerous examples of how our community plays a vital role in driving efforts to restore health, trust and equity to a world in need.
At times, our progress was uneven. The promise of COVID-19 vaccines was tempered by disparities in distribution, vaccine hesitancy, and mis- and disinformation. Our Science family of journals published pivotal research and reported on key developments around global vaccine efforts, all while prompting important – yet at times contentious – conversations around the pandemic. Add to that our track record of sharing swift, high-impact discoveries through the journals, which have helped inform and drive health outcomes for millions.

We provided actionable evidence to decision-makers at all levels of government to inform responses to the pandemic, environmental sustainability challenges and systemic challenges in the sciences, and we provided access to experts to policymakers and the press. On a global scale, we elevated the role of science diplomacy, especially in the face of growing polarization and isolation. AAAS has a rich history of driving dialogue among scientists, press, government decision-makers and the public to build trust where trust is scarce.

We also encouraged solutions at the local level to tackle environmental challenges that threaten the planet’s welfare. Our Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER) program celebrated its 25-year anniversary and reaffirmed its commitment to creating connections between scientific and religious communities.

And with renewed energy, we took concrete steps to make the scientific enterprise – including our own association – more diverse, inclusive and equitable. Our work is far from finished.

We launched new online homes for the Science family of journals and our media resource EurekAlert! that made them more engaging and user friendly (with receiving recognition as a Webby Award finalist in 2022). Our 2021 Annual Meeting demonstrated the continued power of collaboration across our membership and the broader scientific community even in the middle of a pandemic.

These are just some of the highlights from 2021, but they do not begin to capture the full range of accomplishments. This report delves into some of our efforts that made an impact.

The busy year is no surprise to those who know about our long-standing mission to advance science, engineering and innovation for the benefit of all people.

We are grateful to our members, donors and partners who join us in these and many other efforts. Thank you for helping us demonstrate the power of science to serve society. We are in this together.

Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D.

Chair, AAAS Board of Directors (2021-2022)

Dean’s Endowed Professor and Director, Institute for Genome Sciences

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer, AAAS

Executive Publisher,
Science Family of Journals

AAAS Board of Directors and Leadership

Board of Directors

Board Officers

Claire M. Fraser, Ph.D.
University of Maryland School
of Medicine

Susan G. Amara, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. National Institutes
of Health*

Gilda Barabino, Ph.D.
Olin College of Engineering

Carolyn N. Ainslie
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D.

Board Members

Cynthia M. Beall, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University

Rosina M. Bierbaum, Ph.D.
University of Michigan and University of Maryland,
College Park

Ann Bostrom, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Janine Austin Clayton, M.D.
Office of Research on Women’s Health, U.S. National Institutes
of Health*

Kaye Husbands Fealing, Ph.D.
Georgia Institute of Technology

Laura H. Greene, Ph.D.
National High Magnetic
Field Laboratory and
Florida State University

Maria M. Klawe, Ph.D.
Harvey Mudd College

Robert B. Millard
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

William D. Provine, Ph.D.
DuPont/Delaware Innovation Space

Juan S. Ramírez Lugo, Ph.D.
University of Puerto Rico,
Río Piedras

*Drs. Amara and Clayton serve in a personal capacity and not as representatives of NIH.

AAAS Leadership
as of May 20, 2022

Sudip S. Parikh, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer and
Executive Publisher,
Science Family of Journals

Tim Appenzeller
News Editor, Science

Zdenek Becka
Director, Information Technology

Shannon Benson
Director, Human Resources

Andrew Black, J.D.
Chief of Staff and Chief Public Affairs Officer

Kathy Black
Director, Enterprise Project Management

Monica Bradford
Executive Editor,
Science Family of Journals

Joanne Padrón Carney
Chief Government
Relations Officer

Marietta Damond, Ph.D.
Senior Director, Membership

Stephen Issing
Director, Finance

Tanisha Lewis
Chief Financial Officer

Julia MacKenzie, Ph.D.
Chief Program Officer

Shirley M. Malcom, Ph.D.
Senior Advisor and Director, STEMM Equity Achievement
(SEA) Change

Kimberly Montgomery, Ph.D.
Director, International Affairs
and Science Diplomacy

Bill Moran
Science Family of Journals

Kelly O’Brien
Deputy Chief of Staff

Beth Rakouskas
Creative Director,
Science Family of Journals
Beth Rosner
Senior Advisor

Jennifer Sargent
Director, Research and
Data Analytics

Juli Staiano
Chief Philanthropy Officer

Janaya Thompson
Deputy Chief Program Officer

Holden Thorp, Ph.D.
Science Family of Journals

Tal Woliner
Chief Communications Officer

Randy Yi
Director, Business Systems
and Financial Analysis,
Science Family of Journals