Tomorrow morning I make the trip from frigid Boston to sunny, warm San Diego for AAAS 2010! The theme for this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting is Bridging Science and Society! Could there me a more perfect meeting for me to blog about? I am looking forward to the President of AAAS, Peter Agre’s opening night talk. Agre shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Rod McKinnon for their discovery of aquaporins – proteins that stick into a cell’s membrane and transport, but-of-course, water in and out of the cell. I’ve had the privilege of hearing him speak once before at an American Society for Cell Biology meeting when I was an undergrad, pretty inspirational stuff let me tell you.
Even more exciting is Friday’s live broadcast of NPR’s Science Friday. I get to actually sit in the audience during the show! Focusing on breaking science new, this program is probably the best (only?) live science show out there (check out my previous podcast on another awesome science radio program, Radiolab). Host Ira Flatow bravely interviews scientists who don’t always prove to be the best at explaining their oftentimes esoteric research to the public.
Other fun events I’m looking forward to include a session enticingly entitled, Watching the Watchmen and Cheering the Heroes: The Science of Superheroes on Friday morning, a Social Media Soiree on Friday night where I suppose I have to put myself out there and meet new people (*eep*), and a Saturday morning session, The Brain on Trial: Neuroscience Evidence in the Courtroom. I actually have this fantasy of one day writing a dramatic novel involving manipulating memory and a courtcase…
I am however a wee bit disappointed. I’m a student member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW, not to be confused with the National Association of Social Workers whose website I have inadvertently visited a few times now) which puts on a mentorship program where they pair a hopeful, naive, starry-eyed science writer wannabe like me with someone a bit more experienced for a day during the meeting. I signed up for a mentor, before the deadline mind you, but was later informed that all the mentors had been assigned and they didn’t have any left for me. So for those of you who want to participate in this next year – it’s more like first-come first-served than a selection process apparently.