Whitehead Founding Member Gerald Fink announced as President-elect of AAAS

Whitehead Institute Founding Member Gerald R. Fink

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today announced that Whitehead Institute Founding Member Gerald R. Fink has been chosen as its President-elect for 2013. With his election, Fink begins a three-year term as an officer and member of the Executive Committee of the AAAS Board of Directors and will assume the role of President of AAAS in February 2014.

“It’s an honor to be elected to the presidency of AAAS, which serves as the voice of American science to the world,” says Fink, who served as Whitehead Institute Director from 1990 to 2001. “I am prepared to tackle a number of daunting challenges facing us today, not least of which is the waning support for American science by the Federal government. As the eventual leader of AAAS, I intend to work hard to protect our most vulnerable group in science—today’s students, fellows, and young faculty—and to ensure that the world’s population has the benefit of their insights and ideas in the decades ahead.”

Fink, who is also a professor of biology at MIT, is a pioneering researcher in the field of yeast molecular biology. His discovery of transformation in yeast permitted the genetic engineering of this organism, which paved the way for advances in basic science and the development of novel pharmaceuticals. He has also been active in science policy, including his work as chair of the 2003 National Academy of Sciences committee that offered critical national guidance on how to meet the threat of bioterrorism without jeopardizing scientific progress.

A graduate of Amherst College, Fink received his Ph.D. in genetics from Yale University. He is a past president of the Genetics Society of America, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Philosophical Society, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fink will formally begin his tenure as President-elect on February 19th at the close of the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.