Passing the CEO baton

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Science  06 Feb 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6222, pp. 587
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa8081

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s I retire from the office of chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and pass the baton to my very capable successor, physicist and former U.S. congressman Rush Holt, I have been reflecting on changes over the past decades both within the scientific enterprise and in its relationship with the rest of society. Many trends are cause for celebration, but others require remedial attention. On the positive side, new technologies have enabled new and very important scientific questions to be confronted, and a rise in collaborative, multidisciplinary science has fueled a remarkable pace of discovery. Science is also becoming more global in character as more countries invest in science and technology and fortify their infrastructures and science capacities. Science has never been more productive. And yet, the overall climate for science is more difficult than I have ever seen in my scientific career. This stunning state of contradiction indicates that there has never been a greater need, or a greater opportunity, for an international organization such as AAAS, whose mission is to advance science and serve society.