Kate Dickerson, Executive Director of the Maine Discovery Museum, has been selected as one of six inaugural liaisons for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN). AAAS is building networks in four states and one U.S. territory that will bring together and mobilize scientists and engineers interested in science engagement and policy. The Liaisons will foster engagement with communities and local leaders to elevate and build trust in science and provide scientific evidence to inform decision-making to address local concerns.
Dickerson’s work in public science engagement started with her founding the Maine Science Festival in 2015, and expanding it to five days by 2019. Her work on public science engagement in Maine has continued with the Maine Science Podcast and The Warming Sea project. Dickerson’s selection in the first class of AAAS LSEN liaisons builds off of this foundation, and will enable her to continue to make science a key part of public life.
Dickerson noted, “It is a huge honor to be part of AAAS’s inaugural class of LSEN liaisons. I am a firm believer that the more we make the connection between science and our everyday lives, the better off we all are. The opportunity to build a diverse network of Maine AAAS members and other science advocates, and ensure we can bring science into the rooms where decisions are made, is an alignment of my past work in policy and my current work. Throughout my career I’ve seen time and again that science and scientists are often held at distance by others, that scientists are somehow different from ‘the rest of us.’ I’m grateful for the opportunity to help break down this misconception.”
The mission of the Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) is to mobilize STEMM (Science Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine) academics and professionals across the U.S. to effectively engage with their communities, elevating the visibility of and trust in science while creating and filling the demand for scientific evidence and analysis to address needs, solve problems, and enhance policy and public decision-making.
Dickerson concluded, “I’ve already learned so much from the LSEN program and my fellow liaisons and I look forward to building out a Maine engagement network that uses science to inform and help us not just solve some of our most pressing issues but to inspire new ways to address our needs.”
For more information about AAAS and the Local Science Engagement Network, please visit https://www.aaas.org/news/local-science-engagement-network-names-first-liaisons.