Advancing Science, Serving Society

aka AAAS   |   Washington, DC   |


Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science, engineering and innovation for the benefit of all people. With more than 120,000 individual members in over 91 countries, AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through the Science family of journals. As one of the leading voices for science worldwide, we spearhead initiatives in policy, international cooperation and diplomacy, STEM education, public engagement, and more. We strive to promote and defend the integrity of science and its use, provide a voice for science on societal issues, and strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Sudip S. Parikh

Main address

1200 New York Ave NW

Washington, DC 20005 USA

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NTEE code info

Science, General (includes Interdisciplinary Scientific Activities) (U20)

Professional Societies, Associations (Y03)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs

The Center engages science and scientists with many communities, including those of government, religion, and law. We promote responsible conduct of, and advise on investment in, scientific research. Together, we advance the appropriate role of science in the service of society.

Population(s) Served

AAAS Education and Human Resources (EHR) Programs bring exciting opportunities to science students and professionals in the science and technology community. Helping build bridges to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics bolsters the STEM work force and all that it can bring to our lives. At a time when STEM education is struggling to produce enough graduates to keep the United States’ science and technology sectors competitive, AAAS reaches out through a variety of programs to make sure talent and interest in scientific endeavors are nurtured.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program fosters and facilitates the responsible practice and application of science in the service of society. The Program addresses ethical, legal and human rights issues related to the conduct and application of science and technology. The Program is committed to promoting high standards for the practice of science and engineering; advancing the human right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications; engaging scientists, engineers and their professional associations in human rights efforts; monitoring and enhancing assessment of emerging ethical, legal, and human rights issues related to science and technology; furthering the use of science and technology in support of human rights; and initiating activities to address the impact of developments at the intersection of science, technology, and law.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Victims and oppressed people

Project 2061 is a long-term initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. To achieve that goal, Project 2061 conducts research and develops tools and services that educators, researchers, and policymakers can use to make critical and lasting improvements in the nation’s education system.

Population(s) Served

The AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy is guided by the overarching goal of using science to build bridges between countries and to promote scientific cooperation as an essential element of foreign policy.

The Center focuses its core activities at three levels:
Inspirational: Raising the profile of science diplomacy by convening and building a community of stakeholders for science diplomacy activities and initiatives.
Operational: Initiating exchanges, visits, and bilateral activities to put science diplomacy into action.
Intellectual: Creating a foundation of research and providing a forum for thought and analysis to identify and define key issues in science diplomacy and to develop science diplomacy strategies.

Since its establishment in 2008, the Center has been
particularly interested in identifying opportunities for science diplomacy to serve as a catalyst between societies where official relationships might be limited and to strengthen civil society interactions through partnerships in science and technology. In 2012, the Center launched Science & Diplomacy, an open-access policy journal, as a forum for policy discourse at the nexus of scientific cooperation and foreign policy.

Population(s) Served

AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion

AAAS established the progr0am of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) in 1995 to facilitate communication between scientific and religious communities. DoSER builds on AAAS's long-standing commitment to relate scientific knowledge and technological development to the purposes and concerns of society at large.

AAAS has sought to advance science and to relate scientific knowledge and technological development to the purposes and concerns of society at large for over 150 years. Issues of value and ethics are raised by the appearance of technologies not even imagined by earlier generations. Questions of meaning and religion emerge from our deepening understanding of the natural order. Issues of value and meaning are grounded in the disciplines of ethics and religion. The scientific community needs to be in dialogue with both fields in order to understand the cultural context within which science operates and to respond to the societal issues opened up by scientific discovery and technological development. AAAS provides a uniquely credible forum for that engagement because of its disciplinary breadth.

DoSER engages in a variety of activities that seek to:
- Encourage an appreciation among scientists, religious leaders, and religion scholars of the ethical, religious, and theological implications of scientific discoveries and technological innovations.
- Improve the level of scientific understanding in religious communities.
- Increase the engagement of scientific communities in the dialogue on science, ethics, and religion.
- Facilitate collaboration among scientists, ethicists, and religion scholars and leaders to address critical multidisciplinary issues related to science, ethics, and religion.
- Further public understanding of the dialogue on science, ethics, and religion.

Population(s) Served
Interfaith groups

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set the following broad goals:
- Enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public;
- Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use;
- Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise;
- Provide a voice for science on societal issues;
- Promote the responsible use of science in public policy;
- Strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce;
- Foster education in science and technology for everyone;
- Increase public engagement with science and technology; and
- Advance international cooperation in science.

AAAS fulfills its mission through a broad array of initiatives focused on policy, public engagement, education, scientific responsibility and the law, and science diplomacy. Defending openness, integrity, and understanding within and about the practice of science and its applications; promoting communication and education among scientists, engineers, and the public; sparking curiosity about the world and how it works; and advancing dialogue about the importance and relevance of science and innovation are central components of our work.

AAAS provides tools to equip scientists and engineers to advocate for science and be active in policymaking. The Office of Government Relations communicates with congressional representatives and staff, organizes Capitol Hill briefings and meetings, and produces evidence-based science and technology updates, including analyses of federal investments in science and engineering research and development (R&D).

AAAS trains and encourages scientists to become active in policymaking and advocating for science. The Office of International and Security Affairs and the Center for Science Diplomacy foster international scientific collaborations and personal connections among researchers, which leads to new discoveries, improved relationships among governments and benefits the public welfare.

AAAS shares information about scientific advances and promotes scientific knowledge among diverse audiences worldwide. Each year, AAAS hosts the world's largest general-science meeting, attracting researchers, policymakers, journalists and families. Year-round, AAAS shares information on the latest advances with media, provides communication training and resources to scientists and engineers, and promotes research-practice collaboration across disciplines and borders.

Improving education and opportunities for students and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a primary goal of AAAS, benefiting individuals and society, which need science-literate citizens and a well-trained STEM workforce. AAAS facilitates training programs, conferences, awards and internships that reach out to women and underrepresented groups to ensure that society can access the full spectrum of STEM talent.

Finally, Science research publications encompass advances across the biological, physical and social sciences, and news and analysis expand our understanding of the road to a Zika vaccine, Saudi Arabia's push to prevent inherited diseases, and the role of science in election campaigns, among many other issues. These are just some of AAAS' many solutions that aim to tackle the organization's goal of advancing science to the benefit of all humankind.

AAAS's responsibilities reside at the intersection of the world's most urgent problems and the science and technology that will play a key role in solving them. The world's largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals, AAAS is widely recognized as the most trusted force for science within the research community, in the executive branch, on Capitol Hill, and beyond.

AAAS was founded in 1848 as the first permanent organization formed to promote the development of science and engineering at the national level and to represent the interests of all its disciplines. AAAS acquired Science journal in 1900 and went on to feature leading scientists such as Thomas Hunt Morgan, Albert Einstein, and Edwin Hubble, among others. Over the course of its existence, AAAS evolved from an organization primarily concerned with promoting communication among its members to one with a strong professional staff committed to the advancement of science and the relations between science and society.

Drawing increasingly on support from foundations and federal agencies, the Association has built pioneering programs for bringing underrepresented groups into science; applying science to human rights; supporting the growth of science in the developing world; exploring issues of science, ethics, and law; tracking federal spending for R&D; and in bringing scientists and engineers to work in Congress and executive agencies of government.

Today, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society, with over 120,000 members, and Science has become the one of the world's most prestigious and widely-quoted scientific journals as well as a respected source of science news. AAAS' key strength is found in the infrastructure of communication and cooperation that it has constructed over more than 150 years of existence across scientific disciplines and communities, the government, and the public. Owing to its extensive history as the leading advocate for science, the bonds it has developed across disciplines and sectors, and the pedigree of its many publications, AAAS brings an incomparable level of status and respect to all of its endeavors.

The following accomplishments represent only a fraction of AAAS' body of work over the last few years. Information about the successes of our many other projects can be found on our website.

AAAS graduated the 44th class of its Science & Technology Policy Fellows in September 2016. The 259 fellows in the 2016 class, all of whom have advanced degrees in science, engineering or medicine, will contribute technical expertise while learning about policymaking firsthand in their new posts in all three branches of the federal government.

Trends in federal R&D funding were made clearer with a new Budget Dashboard developed by the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, designed to enhance the transparency, accessibility and usefulness of historical AAAS data.

The first detection of gravitational waves, made possible by an international collaboration involving thousands of scientists, and efforts to minimize the effects of the Zika virus were just some of the news-making research presented at the 182nd AAAS Annual Meeting held in February 2016. Hundreds of additional research presentations, seminars and symposia on a wide range of science topics were attended by nearly 10,000 people from 60 countries.

AAAS Education and Human Resources developed Science in the Classroom, a project that annotates selected articles from Science, the leading research journal published by AAAS, and provides accompanying teaching materials. As of April 2017, AAAS has provided more than 130 Communicating Science workshops for over 4,500 scientist and engineer attendees at universities, science society meetings, and government agency labs worldwide.

In 2016, AAAS launched Science Immunology and Science Robotics. Science Immunology features interdisciplinary research focused on understanding problems in cellular and clinical immunology, providing a broad platform for the most exciting findings in this growing field. Science Robotics highlights new advances in complex engineered systems for exploration of environments as diverse as the body, a factory, land, air, sea and space.

Since the 2016 election, AAAS has sought to take on a more active role in science advocacy, establishing itself as the “Force for Science" and actively seeking opportunities to expand communication and advocacy activities. As part of these activities, AAAS articulates positions on critical science-related issues in public statements from the Board of Directors and Council, in letters to Congress and other public bodies, and in newspaper commentaries and broadcast interviews. AAAS also holds workshops and events for scientists, policymakers, and the general public to engage and communicate. Looking ahead, AAAS is finding ways to promote and strengthen evidence-based policy at the federal and state levels; provide journalists in the newsroom with accurate and timely scientific information and resources; and engage the groundswell of scientific activism at the grassroots level.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Board of directors
as of 6/10/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Claire Fraser

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Term: 2021 - 2022

Board co-chair

Dr. Susan Amara

National Institute of Mental Health

Term: 2022 - 2021

Cynthia Beall

Case Western Reserve University

Stephen Fodor

13.8 Inc.

Laura Greene

National High Magnetic Field Laboratory/Florida State University

S. Gates, Jr.

University of Maryland, College Park

Kaye Fealing

Georgia Institute of Technology

Rosina Bierbaum

University of Michigan/ University of Maryland

Robert Millard

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

William Provine

DuPont/Delaware Innovation Space

Susan Amara

National Institute of Health/NIH

Carolyn Ainslie

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ann Bostrom

University of Washington

Maria Klawe

Harvey Mudd College

Alondra Nelson

Social Science Research Council/Institute for Advanced Study

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/10/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islanders/Asian
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data