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Welcome to Al's Corner - "Pouring Gasoline on the Dumpster Fire of Davis Politics" - March 2023

Eight faculty from UCD honored as AAAS Fellows

UCD AAAS Fellows

(From press release) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has announced its most recent group of Fellows, and eight of them are from UC Davis.  From the AAAS website:

AAAS Fellows are a distinguished cadre of scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines, from research, teaching, and technology, to administration in academia, industry and government, to excellence in communicating and interpreting science to the public.

In a tradition stretching back to 1874, these individuals are elected annually by the AAAS Council. Newly elected Fellows are recognized for their extraordinary achievements at the ceremonial Fellows Forum, a time-honored event at the AAAS Annual Meeting where they are presented with a certificate and blue and gold rosette.

Eligible nominees are members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished and who have been a continuous AAAS member for at least four years leading up to the year of nomination. Fellows have included Thomas Edison, W.E.B DuBois, Maria Mitchell, Steven Chu, Ellen Ochoa and Irwin M. Jacobs.

Election as an AAAS Fellow is a lifetime honor and all Fellows are expected to meet the commonly held standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.

They are:

Danika L. Bannasch
Professor, Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine
“For contributions across the study of genetics and genomics for the benefit of animal and human health, and service to the profession.”

Annaliese Franz
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science
“For contributions to catalysis and synthesis emphasizing organosilicon chemistry and biofuel production, and for the championship of diversity, equity and inclusion among faculty and students.”

Sarah B. Hrdy
Professor emerita, Department of Anthropology, College of Letters and Science
“For distinguished contributions to the field of evolutionary anthropology, particularly for understanding mammalian reproductive strategies and the evolution of human families and societies.”

Lynne A. Isbell
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Evolutionary Wing, College of Letters and Science
“For innovative scholarship and leadership in primatology and biological anthropology.”

Pamela J. Lein
Professor of Neurotoxicology, Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine
“For exceptional contributions to research in environmental toxicity and for sustained activity in advising and mentoring.”

Maeli Melotto
Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
“For distinguished contributions to the field of plant biology, particularly for interactions between plants and both pathogenic and nonpathogenic microbes and plant breeding for crop safety and resilience.”

Roberta L. Millstein
Professor Emerit, Department of Philosophy, College of Letters and Science
“For distinguished scholarship and service to the history and philosophy of biology.”

Frank E. Osterloh
Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science
“For contributions to inorganic and materials chemistry with applications in energy conversion.”



Congrats to the Davisite's own Roberta Millstein not only for her award but for allowing free speech.

Alan C. Miller

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recognizes achievement and honors Fellows.

The Davis City Council and the Davis Vanguard recognizes those who participate in the Davis political process, and yet do not share their establishment views, and honors them as Usual Suspects.

Roberta L. Millstein

Thanks, guys. As a "usual suspect" in Davis I am honored to receive this national commendation. It is particularly exciting for me to be nominated along with Dr. Hrdy, whose papers I assigned in my classes for many years.

Ron O

Probably presumptuous of me to say, but only one of those honored appears to be a "fellow".

But I would be honored to be viewed as a periodic member of the "usual suspects", fellow or not.

(Though truth be told, I view some of the more-extreme social justice types as "suspect".)

Roberta L. Millstein

If you follow the link above, you will see that there are plenty of “fellows“ in the other 505 people that were elected this year across the country. It is interesting that this year there were so many women from Davis.

I can see how there is a certain honor in being labeled as someone who fights policies that one finds objectionable. But the “usual suspects“ language is really just a way of shifting from discussion of the issues to discussion of the person and it is a way of stifling, or trying to stifle, those who disagree with the status quo. It also paints people as very one dimensional, when the truth is that we all care about a variety of issues, and in fact, disagree on many of them. But that is less convenient for painting villains as “usual suspects.”

Anyway, I digress. It is nice to be recognized by a national science organization, perhaps somewhat making up for petty remarks from local social media.

A "wanna-be" usual suspect

I find being labeled "amusing". Especially since those doing the labeling are usually the ones whom a label might apply to.

Much as I find terms such as "racist", "anti-racist", "transphobic", "they/them", "NIMBY", etc., to not have any meaning these days. For that matter, even terms like "non-binary", "men" and "women" - let alone "fellows". (I figure that I'm not any smarter than a Supreme Court justice, regarding that.)

Including labels like "progressive".

Though it takes external funding to be a "YIMBY". That's a self-labeled "profession" - not a grass-roots movement.

Though I do find the local self-labeled "Lorax" (or is it "Thorax"?) to be accurate.

It's all fodder for comedy.

Alan C. Miller

"perhaps somewhat making up for petty remarks from local social media. "

Not being on social media, I must tell you: it isn't real.

Having said that, what petty remarks?

Roberta L. Millstein

Too petty to be worth remembering/repeating. I include blogs w/social media, so similar things that you might read there.

Alan C. Miller

I'll never know. #sigh#

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