Dispatches From the Field
AAAS 2000 Annual Meeting

Behind the Scenes
Madeleine K. Albright Comes to Visit - Feb. 21, 2000

By Rob Semper

Madeleine K. Albright Madeleine K. Albright came to the AAAS meeting today to discuss the relationship of science and foreign diplomacy.

In her speech, she acknowledged that the State Department had not paid enough attention to science in the past and that she was preparing to do something about it.

Many of the international issues that the department works on, such as global warming, genetically modified foods and ocean fishing, have scientific as well as political and economic dimensions.

She proposed to establish a strong scientific advisory component to a number of the agency groups and to be more active in getting scientific advice in the future.

Passing through security She also asked the scientific community, which functions fairly easily across country boundaries, to work informally on strengthening ties with their international counterparts.

All of this is the result of a strong lobbying effort and support on the part of AAAS, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation and other organizations.

You can always tell when it is a major government official talking because the portable metal detectors are brought in, all of our cameras are carefully searched and the audience has to enter the hall an hour beforehand and be completely seated before the speaker is brought out.

Madeleine sighting: An hour after she spoke at AAAS, Madeleine was spotted at a card shop on Conneticut Avenue. She had two blonde women in sunglasses guarding the store entrance and a suited security man pacing just inside. I followed her inside, but couldn't think of anything intelligent to say so I left her in peace to pick out her greeting card. MKM

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