Leshner to speak on the critical need to link science with the public

Alan Leshner © AAAS
Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, will speak at UC Davis Health System on Oct. 22.

Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the prestigious journal Science, will speak in Sacramento on "The Evolving Context for Science and Society: Creating Strong Dialogues and a Collaborative Approach Between Scientists and the Public."

His address takes place on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 5 p.m. in the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute auditorium, 2825 50th St., Sacramento. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations can be made by calling (916) 734-7131.

Regarded as an inspiring and thoughtful speaker, Leshner is well-known for his ability to portray the integral role of science in modern life, including encouraging scientists to be citizen advocates, ensuring multi-directional translational science, increasing openness and public accountability for scientific outcomes, and expanding scientists' training in public outreach.

"If science is to live up to its expectations, then public engagement needs to be a top priority," Leshner said. "All U.S. scientists should embrace opportunities for public connection as an essential and meaningful part of their work. Reaching out to the public, particularly on issues at the intersection of science and society, can help to build public trust in our abilities to solve pressing global problems while supporting economic progress. We have an even greater opportunity to do this now, with the new national administration's clear commitment to supporting science and technology programs."

Leshner is a neuroscientist and psychologist who has published more than 150 papers on the biology of behavior, science and technology policy, science education and public engagement with science. He has a history of success with conveying science to the public. Before coming to AAAS in 2001, he was director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and served as deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Leshner's talk is part of the UC Davis Health System Dean's Lecture Series, which brings nationally recognized voices to Sacramento to illuminate how science, technology and policy can improve health and health care for all. The series is hosted by Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, as part of her commitment to integrating the community with the health system's research programs.