New York to Yaroslavl

New York to Yaroslavl

The Academy is launching several innovative and exciting new activities.

As the Autumn edition of the New York Academy of Sciences Magazine goes to print, the Academy has four initiatives in lift-off stages. Here is a lightning tour of some of the most innovative and exciting activities ever launched by the Academy.

Serving Students: In the last edition, you read about a series of remarkable grants that have made it possible for the Academy to serve New York City's science teachers. Our New York City Science Education Initiative has given Academy memberships to more than 1,100 teachers and is providing a forum for them to meet regularly to discuss best practices and recharge their batteries with leading scientists and educators. The events have drawn close to 500 teachers, and nearly 1,200 have participated online, expanding the Academy's footprint beyond New York City. Our social networking website for teachers will launch early this winter.

This quarter, the Academy will also launch an unprecedented initiative to deliver science, technology, and math programming in an innovative way to thousands of 12- and 13-year-olds. Thanks to major grants from Infosys, Goldman Sachs Gives, the Carnegie Corporation, and Laurie Landeau, we have hired K-12 science education expert Dr. Meghan Groome to organize a partnership between the Academy and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development. Imagine the power of confronting impressionable middle schoolers with a young post-doctoral fellow or PhD candidate who has been trained to deliver genomics curricula designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, ecology lessons from Cornell University, or robotics challenges from FIRST, Dean Kamen's robotics program.

Tackling Global Malnutrition: In November, the Academy will launch an initiative in the critical area of nutrition science to address the problems of under- and over-nourishment that afflict an estimated 3 billion people worldwide. The Academy will strive to complement the many existing efforts in global nutrition by leveraging our capacity to convene experts from multiple sectors and various disciplines. We've been proud to receive many votes of confidence from leaders in global nutrition, and we've designed an initiative that will bring together stakeholders from all sectors to focus and advance the field of nutrition science. We are honored to work with them, and thrilled about their confidence in the Academy's unique assets. Please see this issue's cover story for more detail on the Academy's nutrition science efforts.

"Imagine the power of confronting impressionable middle schoolers with a young post-doctoral fellow or PhD candidate who has been trained to deliver genomics curricula..."

Russia: In September, I was privileged to participate with Dr. Karin Pavese, the Academy's very knowledgeable vice president for innovation & sustainability, in President Medvedev's Second Annual Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum. Karin and her team were commissioned by Russian leaders to produce a landmark document, Yaroslavl Roadmap10-15-20: 10 Years to Implement; 15 Steps to Take; 20 Pitfalls to Avoid—International Experience and the Path Forward for Russian Innovation Policy.

Why was NYAS chosen to take on this important task? Beyond our talented staff, Russia's leaders admired our neutrality—the Academy brings no bias to such assignments—and our network: we called on nearly 40 international experts to provide a macroeconomic analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of national innovation policies and descriptions of key local experiences in Finland, India, Israel, Taiwan Province of China, and the U.S. I encourage you to read the entire document at www.nyas.org/yaroslavlroadmap.

Meeting Global Development Challenges: During the United Nations General Assembly Meeting in New York City in September, at a "Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum" co-hosted by the Academy and USAID, Shaifali Puri, executive director of Scientists Without Borders, unveiled the exciting new Scientists Without Borders web platform. Under Shaifali's direction, the site has been rebuilt to support a strategy to use cutting-edge innovation methods such as open innovation challenges and prize competitions, technology-enabled collaboration, and crowdsourcing to tackle the world's most pressing global development challenges. This approach has already generated excitement among partners and supporters of the Academy, and among some of the most forward-thinking innovators at all levels of the public, private, and citizen sectors who are trying to find new ways to deploy science and technology to improve the quality of life for the world's poor. This new incarnation of the initiative and our partnership with USAID in presenting the "Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum" demonstrates the Academy's position on the leading edge of translating science and technology into outcomes for a better world.

As always, I encourage you to e-mail me with your comments or thoughts about these new Academy initiatives, and to support them through your participation, your financial support, or your active membership in our revived, vital, and unmatched global institution.

Ellis Rubinstein
President & CEO