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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 16, 2008


Food Crisis Lecture Kicks Off Jefferson Science Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series at the Department of State

On Friday, October 17, the Department of State will inaugurate the Distinguished Lecture Series on Current Issues in Science and Technology. The first lecture will feature Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State Dr. Nina Fedoroff. Dr. Fedoroff will give a lecture entitled “Seeds of a Perfect Storm: Genetically Modified Crops and the Global Food Security Crisis.” 

The contribution of science, technology, health and engineering to the formulation and implementation of U.S. government policy, both domestic and foreign, is recognized as a critical element in developing sound, comprehensive policies that support U.S. national security objectives, foster meritocracy and good governance, protect the environment and promote sustainable development.  The articulation of accurate science for statecraft to policy makers and promotion of “science diplomacy” have become essential elements in effective international relationships in the 21st century.

Recognizing this need, and with the leadership of the Department of State’s Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, the Secretary of State announced, on October 8, 2003, the Jefferson Science Fellows program at the U.S. Department of State and USAID, to establish a new model for engaging American universities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. This innovative public/private partnership brings tenured professors to work for one year in Washington. Thereafter they serve as consultants for a minimum of five years. The Fellowship began as a pilot program between U.S. universities that support salaries and benefits and with grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Carnegie Commission of New York. Administered by the National Academies, the Jefferson Science Fellowship program is now a permanent feature in the Department’s science diplomacy arsenal. 

Additional information about the Jefferson Science Fellows program may be found at: http://www.state.gov/g/stas/fi/c13204.htm and http://www7.nationalacademies.org/Jefferson/.

2008/882

Released on October 16, 2008

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