AAAS and Center for Biology and Society

student in lab

Expanding research

ASU began taking undergraduate researchers to the AAAS Annual Meeting in 1998, where they worked as session aides and presented a talk on “Scientific Literacy” that led to an invited editorial in Science magazine. In 2010, Regents and President’s Professor Jane Maienschein, Director of the Center for Biology and Society, joined President’s Professor and Vice Dean of Barrett the Honors College Margaret Nelson to take cohorts of students to present their research at the meeting. Each year, a dozen or so students are funded to travel to a different meeting location around the US or Canada to participate in the AAAS Annual Meeting. They present their research posters and attend the activities of this vibrant meeting for science and its social connections. In 2012, ASU President Michael Crow became an AAAS Fellow, and hosted a dinner for ASU members. An annual ASU dinner has become a favorite event at the meeting. 

Faculty Advisors

Jane Maienschein
Director, Center for Biology and Society

Georgette Briggs 
Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College

AAAS Students


AAAS 2024 Meeting Graphic

ASU FUNDING AWARDS: Applications due Wednesday, September 27, 2023 


The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, The Honors College supports the 2024 AAAS Annual Meeting: Science Without Walls which will be taking place in Denver, Colorado on February 15-17, 2024. 

ASU’s Center for Biology & Society and Barrett, The Honors College are offering funding awards to cover the AAAS registration fee, submission fee, and travel expenses to Denver.  

If funded, you will be required to meet with us 1) before the AAAS abstract proposal deadline and 2) before the AAAS e-poster and video presentation deadline.  Helpful ASU Mentors will review your abstract, e-poster and video presentation. You should also review with your research advisor. For questions, email Jane Maienschein or Georgette Briggs.  

AAAS Submission Timeline
Step 1:
AAAS abstract proposal submissions by October 11th.

Step 2: Accepted abstracts will then move to the first round by submitting a 3-minute video that discusses the main research ideas and methods of e-posters to AAAS by November 30th.  

Step 3: February 15-17, 2024 Travel to Denver, Colorado to participate in AAAS Meeting. Finalists will also present their e-poster with judges in-person during the AAAS meeting.


AAAS 2023 Logo

​Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

The 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting featured groundbreaking multi-disciplinary research – research that advances knowledge and responds to the needs of humanity.

2023 AAAS Students

Kayla Burgher Graduate Student First Place - Environment and Ecology

"Attending the AAAS conference in Washington, D.C. was a wonderful experience that opened my mind
to different ways of scientific thinking while giving me a platform to present my work and learn about future
career opportunities. Many of the sessions I attended discussed science communication and the ethics of
conducting science, topics I haven’t had much exposure to in my daily work. Additionally, while attending
sessions and wandering around the expo hall, I met many fascinating scientists from many backgrounds
and career paths. Not only did I get the opportunity to bounce my research ideas off these scientists, but I
also gained insider information on how they built their careers. Finally, I enjoyed presenting my research in
the e-poster competition. Through presenting, I practiced communicating my work to a general audience
and had the opportunity to answer thoughtful questions from the judges. Ultimately, AAAS opened my eyes
to the larger world of science outside of my field and ASU. I am excited to attend again in the future

Photo of Kayla Burgher

Carly Busch Graduate Student Honorable Mention - Social Sciences
"Attending AAAS was an amazing experience where I got to hear about national efforts to increase
equity across the sciences.  Participating in the poster competition gave me the opportunity to share
my research and practice describing my project to an audience with a wide variety of interests.
The judges' questions made me think deeply about my project and future directions.  I am so grateful
to have been able to attend the AAAS conference.

Carly Bush Presentation at AAAS

Baylee Edwards

"My experience at AAAS was incredibly educational and very fun. I had opportunities to build connections
with folks from a variety of disciplines, and discussing my work with them gave me new insight into my
research. I was also able to attend sessions on topics both within and outside of my field, which helped
me connect my work to some of my other interests. At the end of the weekend, I left the conference with
multiple new ideas and the inspiration I need to bring those ideas to life at ASU

Photo of Baylee Edwards

Joseph Hale

"Worry. Hope. Inspiration. Introspection. Such feelings characterize the experience of exhibiting
undergraduate research about a Rubik's Cube at the graduate level in one of science's most prestigious
conferences, the 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting. Fortunately, initial fears of inadequacy gradually dissolved
into crystalizing confidence as new friendships formed over shared excitement and mutual admiration.
As the conference progressed, thought-provoking presentations prompted contemplation of the patent
economy, privacy amidst quantum computing, and proposals for ethical intelligent algorithms. Overall,
this academic experience revealed many new opportunities to stretch intellectually and professionally,
for which I offer sincere gratitude

Photo of Joseph Hale presenting at AAAS

Cole Nichols

"AAAS 2023 was my first experience at an academic conference. Presenting my research was a
welcome challenge, and I enjoyed learning from other poster presenters. From attending other sessions,
I gained new insights for use both in my research and larger academic career.

Photo of Cole Nichols presenting at AAAS


"Empower with evidence" banner

The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, The Honors College supported the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting: Empower With Evidence. 

The AAAS Poster Competition is a virtual experience for the 2022 meeting. The new format makes the online programming and e-poster presentations available to a larger audience.  Visit for further information on AAAS e-posters and deadlines.   

View student abstracts


Due to the unique situation our international scientific community finds ourselves in, AAAS 2021 created an entirely virtual experience for the 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting: Understanding Dynamic Ecosystems with a new format making the online program and e-poster presentations available to a larger audience.

The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, The Honors College were excited to support ASU sponsorship of the 2021 AAAS Meeting.  We offered grants to cover e-poster submission and registration fees along with e-poster and presentation guidance for 36 ASU undergrad and graduate students.

View student abstracts


Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

View students


​Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

View students


 The Center for Biology and Society along with Barrett, the Honors College funded 16 undergraduate students to attend and present their research at AAAS this year in Austin, TX. Like past years, ASU research was visible and noticed at the conference. Students presented on a variety of topics ranging from treatment for pancreatic cancer to the history of tuberculosis in Arizona to the effect of the urban heat island on black widow spiders.

The ever-present poster tubes were missing this year as poster presentations had a new style: e-posters.  Each student presented their poster while it was displayed on an 80 inch monitor behind them.  They were judged by a panel of 3 - 5 area experts and had to condense their research into a 3-minute talk. In addition, each student answered questions for 2 - 3 minutes after their presentations.  Both Lexi Darby and Ella Cabrera-Brown received Honorable Mentions for their poster presentations! Lexi received her award in the category of Science and Society while Ella presented her research in the Brain and Behavior category.

AAAS is the largest scientific conference in the world with hundreds of sessions taking place each day. This year, the theme "Advancing Science: Discovery to Application" featured a wide variety of session tracts from which to choose. The 16 undergraduates all marveled at the wide variety of session topics and were able to fill each day with new and interesting research.

For many of the students, this was their first scientific conference. Lydia Mendoza reflected that "the ability to present my research was the most beneficial part of the trip because it forced me to consider how I would communicate with my audience and what I want scientists and the public to take away from my research." Some students are preparing for graduate school and found the conference enlightening.  "I attended multiple talks on science policy, which is what I want to study in graduate school, so it was extremely exciting to learn more about the field and meet the leading experts" commented Dina Ziganshina.

The highlight for the students was attending the annual ASU AAAS dinner where ASU faculty attending the conference gather to have dinner with the students. Center for Biology and Society's Director Jane Maienschein comments that the traditional dinner is a "way for members of the ASU community at different levels to get to know each other." The group enjoyed welcoming remarks from both Dr. Margaret Nelson, Vice Dean of Barrett, the Honors College along with Dr. Setheraman "Panch" Panchanathan, Chief Research & Innovation Officer of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. 

We look forward to the 2019 conference in Washington, DC!

student at aaas

Lydia Mendoza: Photo by Andrea Cottrell

students at aaas

ASU Students at AAAS

aaas dinner



student presenting at aaas

Each year, the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University send undergraduate researchers as representatives to the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference. This year, a group of 11 undergraduate researchers traveled to Boston, Massachusetts from February 16th–19th. The conference focused on advancing science through policy and public engagement.

Recent political events rippled throughout the conference this year, as attendants vocalized their support for the value of science in society and evidence based facts. This buzz rose to a roar at the conclusion of Naomi Oreskes’ plenary talk titled, "Should Scientists Serve as Sentinels?, when she implored the hundreds in attendance that, “Facts do not speak for themselves, YOU have to speak for them.”

And so, our students did. Eleven undergraduate students—from microbiologists to public health to science education researchers—each traveled from Tempe to Boston to present posters with the results of their arduous research efforts. Jeremy Adams, Amber Gomez, Carlyn Harris, Lakshmee Malladi, Frea Mehta, Tristan Neal, Hoang Nguyen, Monet Niesluchowski, Raud Razzaghi, Shiv Shah, and Casey Weinstein reflected on their research and conference experience. For most, it was their first time presenting at a major national scientific conference. The students were grateful, stating that the conference was a tremendous opportunity both to present their own findings and to hear about and engage with cutting edge science from other fields. All students agreed about the value of presenting their work to a broad audience and receiving feedback during the poster session.

Amber Gomez presented the winning poster in the Medicine and Public Health category. Carlyn Harris and Shiv Shah each received honorable mentions for their posters.  

On Saturday evening, after the student poster session had concluded, faculty and students joined together for dinner in what has become a wonderful ASU community tradition at AAAS. With the stress and pressure of the poster competition behind them, students engaged faculty in lively dinnertime conversation about everything from science policy to the virtues of a delicious dessert.

View students


A group of ASU students impressed the judges at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2015.

Funded by the Center for Biology and Society and Barrett, the Honors College, the students travelled to the San Jose Convention Center, in San Jose, CA, from Thursday, February 12, through Monday, February 16, 2015 to participate in the annual AAAS student poster competition.

The group included three CBS graduate students and thirteen undergraduates.

View students

Previous Faculty Advisors

Margaret Nelson
Vice Dean, Barrett, the Honors College
Term: 1998 -2018

Laura Popova
Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett, the Honors College
Term: 2019-2022


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