Jane Lubchenco receives the 2005 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award

AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society, today named Jane Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University, to receive the prestigious Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award for her exemplary commitment to, and leadership of, public understanding of science initiatives in public policy and professional arenas.

Dr. Lubchenco's career and extracurricular activities demonstrate her commitment to communicating science and technology to such diverse audiences as civic groups, school children, and local, national and international leaders as well as religious leaders and captains of business and industry. She also has used her substantial skills to create and lead at least two different organizations that train other scientists to become active public communicators.

"Dr. Lubchenco has shown us that public communication is both necessary and appropriate for scientific leadership," said Alan I Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal, Science. "Through her example, many scientists and engineers are moving beyond efforts just to educate or help the public understand scientific concepts, and instead are promoting an open dialogue on issues affecting all our lives."

A marine ecologist by training, Dr. Lubchenco is engaged in a wide range of scientific, teaching and public service activities to help address serious environmental problems by making the best possible information and expertise more accessible to government leaders and improving the public's understanding of ecology. She launched the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program in 1998 under the Ecological Society of America to help outstanding environmental scientists become more effective communicators to the public and to policy-makers, as well as the media and private sector. In 1999, she co-founded the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea, a collaborative effort to communicate marine conservation science to policy-makers, marine resource managers, journalists and the public to inform decision-making and accelerate the pace of sound solutions to important marine environmental problems.

Dr. Lubchenco was born and grew up in Denver, one of six daughters of two physicians. She graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. degree in biology. During college, she fell in love with the ocean and its creatures during a summer course in invertebrate zoology at Woods Hole, Mass. She has worked on and around oceans ever since. She received a master's degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University, both in marine ecology. Her research interests include marine conservation biology, biological diversity, ecosystem services, ecological causes and consequences of global change, and sustainable ecological systems.

Her scientific contributions in ecology are widely recognized, and her publications have been named Science Citation Classic Papers. She is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the European Academy of Sciences; a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London; and is a past president of AAAS.

She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Pew Fellowship, eight honorary degrees, the 2002 Heinz Award in the Environment, the 2003 Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest, and the 2004 Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences. She was recently honored with the 2004 Environmental Law Institute Award, the first scientist to receive this honor.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, reaching 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

For more information on AAAS awards, see http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards. Awards will be bestowed at the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Mo., on 18 February.

AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, dedicated to "Advancing science ∙ Serving society."

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