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Appendix III: About AAAS and ICS

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest federation of scientific and engineering societies with nearly 300 affiliates. In addition, AAAS counts more than 140,000 scientists, engineers, science educators, policy makers and interested citizens among its individual members, making it the largest general science organization in the world. The objectives of AAAS are to further the work of scientists, to facilitate cooperation among them, to foster scientific freedom and responsibility, to improve the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare, to advance education in science, and to increase public understanding and appreciation of the methods of science in human progress.

The AAAS Directorate for Science and Policy Programs is home to the two Programs organizing this project on stem cell research and applications. The Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program is charged by AAAS with lead responsibility for the Association’s activities related to ethics and law. It has organized a series of studies and public events related to advances in biomedicine, resulting in several publications: The Genome, Ethics and the Law Issues in Genetic Testing (1992); Ethical and Legal Issues in Pedigree Research (1993); The Genetic Frontier: Ethics, Law, and Policy (1994); and Exploring Public Policy Issues in Genetics (1997). In May-June 1996, the Program sponsored a series of four briefings on the social policy implications of the Human Genome Project for Members of Congress and their staffs.

The other program organizing this project is the AAAS Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion. Established in 1995, it has three objectives: (1) to promote knowledge about developments in science and technology within the religious community; (2) to provide opportunities for dialogue between members of the scientific, secular ethics, and religious communities; and (3) to promote collaboration between members of the scientific and religious communities on projects that explore the ethical and religious implications of scientific developments. The Program convened an eighteen-month dialogue on human gene patenting, involving the scientific, biotechnology, religious, and legal communities, resulting in the publication of Perspectives on Gene Patenting: Science, Religion, and Industry in Dialogue.

The two Programs co-sponsored a forum on human cloning in June 1997 and convened a second forum in September 1997 on human germline interventions.

Institute for Civil Society

Inspired by Eastern European movements that overthrew communism by the sheer force of belief in freedom, the Institute for Civil society (ICS) holds that joint action by people in communities is as important as the actions of government and business in upholding democracy.

Established in 1995, and based in Newton, Massachusetts, ICS focused initially on forging relationships with grassroots groups to reduce handgun violence and improve the quality of life in Boston. In 1996, it received an endowment of $35 million that enabled it to expand its reach, and launched a national New Century/New Solutions project to renew civil society and highlight community perspectives in other parts of the country. ICS currently works in four program areas. Democratic Capitalism seeks to bridge the gap between those who have access to the capital that can make things happen, and those who do not. Health and Science Policy contributes to new ways of thinking about complicated issues, such as the relationship between biotechnology and cures for disease. Culture and Creativity identifies ways in which institutions, such as schools, can help to foster innovative thinking. Violence works to change the conditions that make violence possible.

Email link | Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: AAAS DoSER and the Institute for Civil Society

Topic Sets Available

AAAS Report on Stem-Cells

AstroTheology: Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms

Agency: Human, Robotic and Divine
Becoming Human: Brain, Mind, Emergence
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology (GHC)
Cosmic Questions CD-ROM Preview...
Cosmic Questions Interviews

Cosmos and Creator
Creativity, Spirituality and Computing Technologies
CTNS Content Home
Darwin: A Friend to Religion?
Demystifying Information Technology
Divine Action (GHC)
Dreams and Dreaming: Neuroscientific and Religious Visions'
E. Coli at the No Free Lunchroom
Engaging Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence: An Adventure in Astro-Ethics
Evangelical Atheism: a response to Richard Dawkins
Ecology and Christian Theology
Evolution: What Should We Teach Our Children in Our Schools?
Evolution and Providence
Evolution and Creation Survey
Evolution and Theology (GHC)
Evolution, Creation, and Semiotics

The Expelled Controversy
Faith and Reason: An Introduction
Faith in the Future: Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century

Francisco Ayala on Evolution

From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions
Genetic Engineering and Food

Genetics and Ethics
Genetic Technologies - the Radical Revision of Human Existence and the Natural World

Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics
Getting Mind out of Meat
God and Creation: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Perspectives on Big Bang Cosmology
God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion
God the Spirit - and Natural Science
Historical Examples of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)
History of Creationism
Intelligent Design Coming Clean

Issues for the Millennium: Cloning and Genetic Technologies
Jean Vanier of L'Arche
Nano-Technology and Nano-ethics
Natural Science and Christian Theology - A Select Bibliography
Neuroscience and the Soul
Outlines of the Science and Religion Debate (GHC)

Perspectives on Evolution

Physics and Theology
Quantum Mechanics and Theology (GHC)
Questions that Shape Our Future
Reductionism (GHC)
Reintroducing Teleology Into Science
Science and Suffering

Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action (CTNS/Vatican Series)

Space Exploration and Positive Stewardship

Stem-Cell Debate: Ethical Questions
Stem-Cell Ethics: A Theological Brief

Stem-Cell Questions
Theistic Evolution: A Christian Alternative to Atheism, Creationism, and Intelligent Design...
Theology and Science: Current Issues and Future Directions
Unscientific America: How science illiteracy threatens our future
Will ET End Religion?

Current Stats: topics: >2600, links: >300,000, video: 200 hours.