The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) has selected two graduate students to receive the Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award. Andrew Adrian and Amalia Aruda Almada are the 2014 recipients of the award. Adrian is a Ph.D. candidate working in the laboratory of Josep Comeron, an associate professor in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Department of Biology; and Almada is a Ph.D. candidate in biological oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
“Amalia and Andrew have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and enthusiasm at the interface of science and policy,” said AIBS President Dr. Joseph Travis. “I congratulate them on their well deserved recognition and look forward to their involvement in the upcoming Congressional Visits Day.”
AIBS is a professional scientific organization dedicated to informing and leading research, education, and policymaking at the frontiers of the life sciences. Since 2003, AIBS has recognized the achievements of biology graduate students who have demonstrated an interest and aptitude for contributing to science and public policy.
Adrian and Almada will travel to Washington, DC in April to meet with their congressional delegations. They will also participate in a training program on communicating with policymakers and a briefing on the federal budget for scientific research. These events are in conjunction with the annual Biological and Ecological Sciences Coalition (BESC) Congressional Visits Day. The winners also receive a one-year membership in AIBS, which includes a subscription to the scientific journal BioScience.
"As scientists, we understand the long-term impact and goals of our research, yet we often forget that we need to emphasize its relevance to society,” said Adrian. “My goal is to bring my understanding of scientific research to policymakers and impress upon them the need for sustained investment in scientific research for a better tomorrow."
In addition to this award, Adrian was recently elected a trainee advisory representative to the board of directors for the Genetics Society of America (GSA), where he is helping to draft the society’s position statements on legislation.
Adrian is also a founding member of a student outreach organization that holds public lectures on science. In his capacity as chair of that group’s policy subcommittee, he organized meetings with state and local officials about science policy. He participated in the 2013 BESC Congressional Visits Day and is an active member and secretary of the Iowa City Darwin Day organization. Adrian has also served for four years on the University of Iowa’s Graduate Student Steering Committee. His research focuses on how and why meiotic recombination happens. He received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“This is the twelfth year that AIBS has recognized outstanding graduate students for their achievements in science policy,” said AIBS Executive Director Dr...