UW News

February 12, 2020

UW is host university for 186th AAAS meeting in Seattle

UW News

aerial view of UW campus with Seattle in background

The University of Washington is the host university for the 186th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, scheduled through the weekend at and around the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

It’s the largest scientific gathering of its kind in the world, according to AAAS.

“Through lectures, films, discussions and hands-on activities, the public has the extraordinary opportunity to discover the direct impact of research and innovation on their lives,” UW Provost Mark Richards said. “Researchers from the UW and across the country will present their work in a relatable way that will amaze and inspire us all.”

For more information about the UW’s participation in the conference, click here.

You don’t have to be a scientist to participate in the innovations and excitement of the conference.

The AAAS annual meeting will offer free public lectures and hands-on fun for families. Two free Family Science Days — 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday — will feature interactive science-learning activities, plus a Meet the Scientists speaker series designed especially for middle- and high-school students. For details, see http://www.aaas.org/fsd. Family Science Days will take place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel.

The UW also will have more than 50 speakers and session moderators participating in the conference across a number of topics, including earthquakes, climate change impacts, misinformation during emergencies, criminal justice reform, early childhood learning and using artificial intelligence to stop child sex trafficking.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce will welcome conference attendees to Seattle at a kickoff reception Thursday. The UW and Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will host a social event on Saturday at the museum for hundreds of journalists attending the conference. UW also will have a booth in the exhibit area of the conference.

Some highlights of the UW’s participation in the conference include:

  • Harold Tobin, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, is organizing a panel on Saturday about understanding “The Big One,” effects of a possible magnitude 9 earthquake on structures in the Northwest and innovation in tsunami modeling to protect coastlines.
  • Researchers from the Climate Impacts Group speak on a panel about how communities can best adapt to climate change, including along coastlines, on Saturday.
  • Sociologist Alexes Harris and others will discuss issues related to immigration, crime and justice, including the effect of neighborhood immigrant concentrations on reporting crime to the police, in a panel on Saturday.
  • Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences researchers on Saturday will discuss new research on infants and young children, including the development of babies’ brains and the importance of touch for infants.
  • Emma Spiro with the newly formed Center for an Informed Public will speak in a Saturday session on misinformation during emergencies and disasters.
  • And, medicine researcher Michael Pullmann will speak in a Friday session about using AI and data to try to stop child sex trafficking.

More information and a complete schedule of UW’s participation in the conference can be found here.