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Alumni Gazette

Alumni Advancing Science
chu-hockfieldSteven Chu (Photo: J. Adam Fenster)

For a brief period this past winter, the president and president-elect of one of the world’s leading organizations for the advancement of science were both Rochester alumni.

Steven Chu ’70 was named president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in January. Susan Hockfield ’73 completed her term as president of the association in February, after which she became chair of its board of directors. Under AAAS rules, the president-elect serves one year in the role before assuming the presidency.

The AAAS, founded in 1848, is one of the world’s largest scientific societies, with more than 120,000 members. With the goal “to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people,” the association publishes a network of peer-reviewed journals, including Science, operates educational programs, and works to inform public policy and lobby on behalf of scientific freedom and cooperation.

chu-hockfieldSusan Hockfield (Photo: J. Adam Fenster)

Chu, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997 and served as secretary of energy during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.

Hockfield is a professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as president of MIT from 2004 to 2012.

“As secretary of energy, I was reminded daily that science must continue to be elevated and integrated into our national life and throughout the world,” Chu wrote in his candidacy statement. “Never has there been a more important time than today for AAAS to communicate the advances in science, the methods we use to acquire this knowledge and the benefits of these discoveries to the public and our policymakers.”

—Karen McCally