Public Release: 

First Public Engagement Fellows of Leshner Leadership Institute at AAAS announced

Scientists engaging on science and society issues

American Association for the Advancement of Science

WASHINGTON, DC -- AAAS announces the selection of the following Public Engagement Fellows for 2016-17, the first year of the Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science, with additional Fellows to be announced in December 2015:

  • Tracey Holloway, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    • Dr. Holloway is a Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she leads a research program that employs computer models and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. Prof. Holloway is deputy director of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team, and President and co-founder of the Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN). Holloway earned her Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University in 2001.
  • Peter Huybers, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University
    • Dr. Huybers' research involves the causes of glacial cycles, evaluation of modern climate extremes, and the implications of climate change for food production. He is a recipient of a MacArthur grant, a Packard Fellowship, and the American Geophysical Union's Macelwane Medal. During 2013, he worked as a senior climate advisor in the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Huybers earned his Ph.D. in Climate Physics and Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004.
  • Karen Lips, Professor of Biology, University of Maryland
    • Dr. Lips studies population biology and the community ecology of amphibians. Her lab focuses on the conservation and ecology of amphibians and reptiles at population, community, and ecosystem scales - especially as they are affected by emerging infectious disease and global change. She was a 2005 Leopold Fellow and earned a Ph.D. in Biology in 1995 from the University of Miami.

Nominations remain open until November 1, 2015 for the inaugural fellows of the Leshner Leadership Institute, which is focused on climate change in its first year. This new fellowship program convenes mid-career scientists who demonstrate leadership and excellence in their research careers, and interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society, in order to build their capacity for public engagement leadership.

Eligibility and nomination requirements are available at

"We are thrilled to both announce that nominations are open for the Leshner Leadership Institute and that the first Public Engagement Fellows have been selected," said Tiffany Lohwater, Director of Meetings and Public Engagement at AAAS. "This new fellowship program highlights and assists mid-career scientists seeking to engage with public audiences, building on the long-standing commitment of AAAS to science communication and public engagement."

A total of 15 Public Engagement Fellows will convene in June 2016 at AAAS headquarters in Washington, DC for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training, networking, and public engagement plan development. After the training, Public Engagement Fellows will return to their institutions with resources and connections to develop and implement public engagement activities, opportunities for training other scientists in their communities, and increased capacity for public engagement leadership. AAAS staff will provide ongoing support and continuing professional development throughout their fellowship year.

The first cohort of Public Engagement Fellows (June 2016-17) will be comprised of climate change researchers. Future cohorts will focus on other areas of science, particularly topics with a science-society nexus and sufficient scholarship in related communication research.

The Leshner Leadership Institute has been established wholly by philanthropic support: as of September 1, 2015, more than 130 gifts ranging from $20 to $100,000 have combined to exceed $500,000 and fund the Institute for its first five years. The Institute is managed by the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, established in 2004 by Alan I. Leshner, Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of AAAS.

Learn More: Informational Webinar

Webinar: Connecting Science & Society: The Leshner Leadership Institute
September 9, 2015
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT
Register Today!

Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, AAAS
Kim Cobb, Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dominique Brossard, Professor and Chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Join Alan Leshner, Kim Cobb, and Dominique Brossard to learn more about the new Leshner Leadership Institute. This informational webinar from AAAS discusses the importance of public engagement and how the Leshner Leadership Institute is preparing mid-career scientists to serve as public engagement leaders in their communities.

Register for the webinar by September 8.


About AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, and a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes nearly 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!,, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS. See

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