President’s Invitation: Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth


Dear Colleagues:

Scientific and technological research have been invaluable in developing ways of improving life on Earth. The 2020 AAAS Annual Meeting theme, Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth, considers how efforts and advances in science and technology can respond to the new challenges faced by society.

On behalf of the AAAS Board of Directors, I urge you to join us in Seattle from February 13-16, 2020, where this theme will be considered from interdisciplinary scientific perspectives. The AAAS Annual Meeting is the premier event at which you can network with future collaborators from different disciplines. We look forward to seeing you in Seattle.

Steven Chu
AAAS President
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics
Stanford University

The scientific endeavor has been at the forefront in developing innovations which have improved life on Earth in immeasurable ways. Now, life on this planet is facing new challenges from both nature and the built world, and scientific application is our best tool with which to react. By drawing on our current understanding of the world, and bravely experimenting with forward-thinking visions, the scientific community needs to respond with discoveries and developments to help solve many pressing problems.
The science of the next generation – from AI and robotics to gene editing to clean energy – and the policy and social implications of it must be explored. This Annual Meeting celebrates the scientific position on appreciating and addressing the future of planet Earth by considering and collaborating with advances across disciplines, and the ways in which scientists are building networks with policymakers and the public to work more effectively and best take advantage of the many new developments that science and technology is introducing at an ever-increasing pace.

Some research that may be addressed include:
• Within the agriculture-water-energy nexus, the developments that are needed to provide sufficient and higher quality, sustainable food for an ever-growing population;
• The science and technology that combat the risks of increasing air and water pollution;
• Biology at the molecular, cellular and organism levels, and how discoveries in this area may lead to further human well-being;
• How data from blood samples and advances in medical imaging can improve medical diagnostics, prognosis, and treatment;
• Determining the value and means of maintaining natural ecosystems and biological diversity in a changing planet;
• Changes in extreme weather events, preventative actions, and the possibilities and limitations to adaptation strategies;
• Prospects to improve urban living and mobility;
• The science of the next industrial revolution – automation, robotics, artificial intelligence – and the how to mitigate the social disruption of displaced workers.

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