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Checking out the AAAS Meeting

I’ve been going to the AAS meetings for a long time (almost 15 years?!) but this is my first time attending a AAAS meeting! It’s a general science meeting, meaning there were scientists, engineers, public policy, outreach professionals…. from all disciplines! The upside of this is that I got to hear talks about drug therapies, climate change, citizen science, building an inclusive mentoring community… and almost NO astronomy for a couple days. It’s great to get some breadth, some perspective about what else is going on in science and academia.

The downside (in my opinion) is that every talk is necessarily at a fairly high level, since your audience isn’t made of specialists. Also, there were very few posters or personal presentations from people. Most of the sessions were talks by bigger names or panel discussions… and I kind of missed getting to chat face-to-face with students and junior people who were proud of their work. My review is: Definitely go to the AAAS meeting if you want to hear about outreach, policy, etc, but if you’re a student looking to get their science out to the world: probably focus on more specialized meetings.

Still, it was a really fun meeting to attend - and I got to see a talk by Bill Gates himself (a first for me!) Check it out in this week’s Astro Vlog!

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