Leshner Leadership Institute Fellowship Application

The AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute is an initiative of the AAAS Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, started in 2015 in honor of CEO Emeritus Alan I. Leshner, who founded the Center.

Each year, a cohort of 15 AAAS Leshner Fellows from an area of research at the nexus of science and society will convene for a week of intensive public engagement and science communication training and public engagement plan development.

AAAS Leshner Fellows will return to their institutions with a renewed commitment to develop and implement public engagement activities, train and mentor other scientists in their communities, and promote public engagement within their institutions.

Human Augmentation is the topic for the 2019-2020 cohort of AAAS Leshner Fellows.

New and developing technologies attempt to temporarily or permanently change the capabilities of the human body through natural or artificial means. This includes, but is not limited to using pharmaceuticals, surgery, or medical technology to address illnesses and augment physical, sensory, and cognitive capacities. As science and society further explore such human augmentation, there remain many questions about topics such as clinical testing, the rights of parents and minor children, the danger of exacerbating existing inequalities, the rights to medical care, and the ethics of using an augmentation.

Examples of existing augmentations include artificial joints, prosthetic limbs, heart pacemakers, cochlear implants, artificial eye lenses, powered exoskeletons, attention-focusing pharmaceuticals, and deep brain stimulation. Research in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic engineering, and cognitive science will play an increasing role in public conversation on whether and how to change human capacities.

The 2019-2020 AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science will equip an interdisciplinary cohort of researchers to be leaders in high-impact public engagement related to human augmentation. Applicants may be scientists or engineers in academia, government, non-governmental organizations or industry. They must be active researchers in disciplines including (but not limited to) biology or biotechnology, neuroscience, chemistry, biomedical engineering, and medical ethics.

To check eligibility click here. For a list of required materials click here.

If you have questions, email us. Follow us on Twitter @MeetAScientist.


Partial applications can be edited by clicking “complete an unfinished application” and entering your email address. Once submitted applications can no longer be edited. Please remember that your completed application must be submitted by October 8, 2018 at 11:59pm ET.

The submission period has closed.