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SPIE joins AAAS in encouraging members to advance public's science awareness

BELLINGHAM, WA, USA - 17 July 2008 - SPIE has declared its support for an appeal from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for its members to add their voices to the public dialogue on science and technology.

The AAAS has created resources to help scientists develop strategies for communicating effectively through its Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. In conjunction with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the center created a new website and workshop initiative called "Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers." Online resources from this program include webinars, how-to tips for media interviews, strategies for identifying public outreach opportunities, and more.

AAAS has also called for a debate about science issues between the US presidential candidates as a way of bringing wider attention to the problem of funding for scientific research and education.

"SPIE heartily endorses and encourages these discussions," said Eugene Arthurs, CEO of SPIE. "Our members can be powerful forces in communicating with policy-makers and the public about the importance and relevance of science in improving quality of life throughout the world. The issues around global climate change and sustainable energy sources, for example, are complex and yet touch everyone's lives in some way. Scientists and researchers who can effectively share their knowledge can help formulate sound policies."