American Association for the Advancement of Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.



AAAS is the publisher of the scientific journal Science. Science's reporting on COVID-19 stories is sponsored by the Pulitzer Center and the Heising-Simons Foundation.1)



The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded two grants to the AAAS:

  • $10,000 - To support a symposium hosted by AAAS on broadening access to science, technology, engineering, and math education through technology2)
  • $7,500 - To educate participants representing science, engineering, and technology, about the latest scientific advances3)

AAAS received a $10,000 grant from Pfizer in the first quarter of 2021 for “general operating support”.4)


David Hamburg served as president, and then chairman of the board, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984 to 1986). David Hamburg “is president emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, after being president from 1983 to 1997. He received his AB (1944) and his MD (1947) degrees from Indiana University. He was a professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences from 1961 to 1972 and the Reed-Hodgson Professor of Human Biology at Stanford University from 1972 to 1976; president of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 1975 to 1980; and director of the Division of Health Policy at Harvard University, 1980 to 1983. He served as president, and then chairman of the board, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984 to 1986).

“Dr. Hamburg has served on various boards, including Rockefeller University; the Mount Sinai-New York University Medical Center; the American Museum of Natural History; the Carter Center, Atlanta; and the Jacobs Foundation, Zurich. He served as a trustee and vice chairman of the board of Stanford University, and as a trustee and deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“In the international security field, he served on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board; the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on International Security and Arms Control; the Center for Naval Analysis; the United States-Soviet Joint Group on Crisis Prevention; and the Defense Policy Board of the US Department of Defense. In the UN system, he has served on the WHO Advisory Committee on Medical Research and the UNHCR Advisory Group.

“Dr. Hamburg received the American Psychiatric Association's Distinguished Service Award, the International Peace Academy's 25th Anniversary Special Award, the Achievement in Children and Public Policy Award from the Society for Research in Child Development, the National Academy of Sciences' Public Welfare Medal (its highest award), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the highest civilian award in the United States.

“Dr. Hamburg is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College.”5)

AAAS 2008 Scandal with Junk Science Steve Milloy

The junkman climbs to the top by Paul Thacker - May 11, 2005

Much of Milloy’s earlier history can be found online at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library archived at the University of California, San Francisco. This database contains 7 million documents related to advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific research of tobacco products. These papers, many of which were collected by Glantz, show that Milloy began in about 1996 while he was president of the nonprofit Environmental Policy Analysis Network. The network had gained some fame for a report that questioned EPA’s risk assessment methods, which captured the attention of Max Boot, an editor at The Wall Street Journal. When Boot wrote an editorial trumpeting the report and criticizing EPA regulations, he sent Milloy a draft to check for mistakes.

In March 1997, Milloy became president of the Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC) a nonprofit organization founded to “promote the use of sound science.” A letter in 1993 from the communications firm APCO Associates Inc. to tobacco giant Philip Morris USA explains TASSC’s origin. At that time, APCO was forming TASSC as a media relations strategy “to expand and assist Philip Morris in its efforts with issues in targeted states in 1994.” APCO then orchestrated a media launch for TASSC, which began in secondary markets outside of Washington, D.C., and New York City to avoid “cynical reporters from major media.” An editorial at the time praised TASSC as a “grass roots organization”.

So, how did AAAS choose Milloy as a judge? Pinholster says that Milloy was picked because he is listed in a Bacon’s media directory of journalists and press officials as a “science editor.” However, she claims that the judges did not consider his input after he revealed his connection to the Cato Institute. She calls the whole issue “an anomaly” and adds that AAAS is now instituting a policy that requires judges to sign a conflict-of-interest form. After our inquiries, a quote [link goes to a PDF of the original web page before it was changed] from Milloy praising the winner of the AAAS journalism contest in the award’s announcement was removed from the AAAS website.

“They can’t have made him a judge and then take it away from him,” says Tom Rosensteil, the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, adding that AAAS must not have done its homework.

Getting closely involved with a prestigious science society has been an enduring ambition for Milloy. In 1997, he wrote that future goals for TASSC would be to “sponsor forums on sound science at the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, and the Society for Risk Analysis.”

“What a coup for the tobacco companies and other big corporate interests,” says Glantz. —PAUL D. THACKER 6)

Cohen, J. (2020, November 18). “Incredible milestone for science.” Pfizer and BioNTech update their promising COVID-19 vaccine result. Science.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2013, August). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2004, January). Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
US Medical, Scientific, Patient and Civic Organization Funding Report: Q1-Q2 2021. (2021, September 27). Pfizer.

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