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Committee Reports

Educational Council

John Pilger, Chair

The Educational Council will co-sponsor two special events at the annual meeting in Chicago. The first, organized by Ali Whitmer, will focus on science education reform. Titled "Developing and Restructuring Science Curricula: A "How to" Symposium", it will feature sections on funding opportunities, university and educational resources and presentations by individuals whose programs represent outstanding examples of curriculum reform.

The second symposium is "Science, Entertainment and Teaching: Bringing Cutting Edge Biology to the Public and Teaching Community." Stuart Sumida and Elizabeth Rega have organized this unique daylong program. The two primary sessions are provocatively titled "Toys and Teaching: Lessons from Scientists" and "Entertainment Tools: Lessons for Scientists." A roundtable and panel discussion will follow.

As we step forward to begin the implementation of out strategic agenda two notable actions have begun. First, in an effort to accomplish the ambitious program we asked SICB members to allow the Educational Council to increase its membership from six to up to ten individuals. This request was passed by majority vote in the elections held earlier this year. We are now recruiting these members.

An important part of our strategic agenda is to consider ways we can build on the popular and important "Science as a Way of Knowing" symposium held about a decade ago. We are attempting to assemble a steering committee that will provide a vision for this venture by assessing potential target audiences, funding avenues and the manner in which it could be effectively disseminated.

The members of the Educational Council are always interested in hearing from others who value excellence in science education. Please feel free to contact any member with your thoughts and ideas. You are also welcome to attend the Council's business meeting.

Program Advisory Committee

Robert Dores, Chair

The Program Advisory Committee (PAC) has the following membership for 2000/2001: Albert Bennett (University of California, Irvine), David Carrier (University of Utah), Robert Dores (University of Denver; chair), John Edwards (University of Washington), David Epel (Stanford University), Theodore Garland (University of Wisconsin), Sue Herring (University of Washington), Gretchen Hofmann (Arizona State University), Fredric Janzen (Iowa State University), Elizabeth Jockusch (University of Connecticut), Jon Norenburg (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institute), and John Pearse (University of California, Santa Cruz). PAC members are appointed by the president of SICB.

The charge of the committee is to evaluate proposals and initiatives that will facilitate the execution of the SICB strategic plan. Currently, PAC is evaluating proposals for the Innovative Programming Fund. The president has set aside $25,000 for the current fiscal year to support proposals that will "expand the membership of SICB." In the first round we have been seeking proposals that will introduce new interest groups to SICB or improve divisional programming efforts.

The committee will meet in Chicago at the annual meeting to set the criteria for the next round of "Innovative Programming" proposals. These criteria will be sent to the division program officers and posted on the SICB WEB site. The next proposal deadline is April 1, 2001.

Public Affairs Committee

Miriam Ashley-Ross, Chair

The Public Affairs Committee is completing another successful year of facilitating communication between SICB and the public. For the Media Workshop at the upcoming SICB Annual Meeting in Chicago, our committee has selected the theme of Science Documentaries: Behind the Scenes. We will bring together several individuals who straddle the worlds of academia and film production to present their views on the process of making effective documentaries, how topics and scientists are chosen, and what it takes to bring the finished product to the audience. Participants currently include Geoff Haines-Stiles, Project Director of the "Passport to Knowledge" and "Live FromΣ" series, and Tierney Thys, Science Editor of the upcoming "Shape of Life" documentary series. The workshop will be held on Thursday, January 4, from 1-3 pm.

The committee would also like to encourage members to attend several other events at the Annual Meeting dealing with communicating science to the public. Stuart Sumida and Elizabeth Rega have organized a symposium entitled: "Science, entertainment, and teaching: Bringing cutting edge biology to the public and teaching community." Several of the presenters have worked with film (including Disney) animators, so it promises to be very interesting. This symposium is scheduled for Friday, January 5. Ali Whitmer has organized "Developing and restructuring science curricula: A "how to" symposium," which will center on bringing the excitement of doing science into the classroom. This symposium will take place on Saturday, January 6. Finally, during the lunch break on Saturday, January 6, SICB will hold an "evolution town meeting," featuring Eugenie Scott as an invited speaker, where strategies for countering the creationist onslaught will be discussed. All meeting attendees are invited.

The Public Affairs Committee will also be hosting a media reception on the opening night of the meeting to provide information to attending media representatives and allow symposium organizers to present the contents of their symposia first hand. We encourage all symposium organizers to plan to attend this reception.

Student Support Committee (SSC)

David W. Borst, Chair

Grants-in-Aid of Research:
Last year, the SSC reviewed 96 applications for research grants and made 18 awards (total awards = $12,000) to graduate students from 8 different divisions of the SICB. We anticipate a similar level of support this year. The maximum award is $1,000; the average award for the past few years has been $700.

Applicants should be aware of the following rules for receiving an award:
1) The applicant must be a graduate student currently enrolled in a degree program;
2) Applicants must be active members of SICB (they may join when submitting the application);
3) The award must be spent in direct support of the proposed study (no stipends or equipment purchases);
4) The applicant may receive only one GIAR award;
5) Awards are made payable to the individual recipients or to his/her department or university;
6) No part of an award may be used for the payment of indirect costs to the recipient’s institution .

Deadlines: The deadline this year for receipt of applications AND letters of recommendation is November 15. LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED.

Application process: All applications AND letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically this year using the forms located on the SICB website. For more information, please visit: http://www.sicb.org/grants/researchgrant.php3

Travel Awards:
This program provides partial support to students attending the annual meeting. Last year in Atlanta, the SICB provided support for more than 170 students. Nearly every eligible applicant was supported. These awards typically cover either the meeting registration (worth $70) or a free hotel room with other students (worth about $150-200 depending on the location). Applications are due on November 17, 2000. Only students who are SICB members and who are presenting authors of a paper or poster may apply for a SICB travel award. If you are granted support of any type through the SICB Student Support Program you are obligated to provide assistance during the meeting; failure to fulfill your obligation will cause immediate cancellation of your support. For complete details of this program, visit the website (http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2001/studentsupport.php3).