Elizabeth Marincola Steps Down as President of SSP
After eight years of
distinguished service, Elizabeth Marincola moved on from her role as president
of the Society for Science & the Public and publisher of SSP’s Science News
family of publications effective June 14, 2013. She has accepted a leadership
role with the Public Library of Science. The Society’s Board of Trustees is
leading the effort to identify and hire her successor.
During the past eight years under Elizabeth’s leadership, the Society has
undergone many changes, including a name change from Science Service to the
current Society for Science & the Public. We have built a strong financial
foundation (and have been named a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator for the
third year in a row, a feat achieved by fewer than 10% of nonprofit
organizations). Our financial strength has allowed us to increase our support
for the publications, competitions and other projects that allow us to continue
pursuing our mission of informing, inspiring and educating the public about
science and its many possibilities.
We have revamped and launched publications, such as adding Kindle and iPad
editions of Science News and reinventing the free, online Science News for
Kids. We have helped tens of thousands of motivated students participate in our
educational competitions and have become a go-to source not only for those
students who have been directly involved in our competitions but also for a far
broader population of students interested in hands-on independent scientific
Last month, more than 1,600 finalists competed in the Intel International
Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, AZ. The top winners had projects
focused on creating software for a low-cost, self-driving car; developing a
supercapacitator, an energy-efficient storage device that has the potential to
replace conventional batteries; and simulating clusters of galaxies providing
valuable new data to help better understand the mysteries of astrophysics.
Other projects ranged from research concerning food allergies or alternate fuel
sources, biodegradable polymers and much more. The dedication, ingenuity and
hard work these young scientists put into their independent scientific research
prepared them to help solve the pressing scientific problems facing the world
today and in the future.
We need more students like these. It is vitally important that we all continue
to encourage science education and hands-on research starting at a young age.
The Society’s competitions -- the Intel Science Talent Search, Intel
International Science and Engineering Fair and Broadcom MASTERS -- serve as
goals for motivated students and as inspiration to millions of students
participating in SSP-affiliated science fairs around the world. Nonetheless, we
must continue to reach an even broader audience. All students, regardless of
resources, should have the opportunity to learn by doing.
During the transition and under our new leadership, SSP will not only continue
to provide the quality competition experience that finalists, parents, teachers
and fair directors have come to expect but will also continue to expand our
reach further through additional programs aimed at getting more students
interested and involved in science.
Our Science News family of publications, including Science News for Kids and
Science News Prime for the iPad, will continue striving to increase the
public’s scientific knowledge not only by reporting concise and current news
but also by reaching out to where the public is. Our updated website is expected
to launch this fall and will be part of a multi-pronged effort to provide
information in new formats better designed to reach a mobile and tech-savvy
Science News has served as a valuable source of information about science for
more than 90 years. We look forward to providing an updated experience to our
readers without losing any of the valuable in-depth reporting and clarity
readers have come to expect.
The Society’s Board is exceedingly grateful to Elizabeth Marincola for her outstanding leadership of SSP and for establishing such a secure and promising future for SSP. We have every confidence that the dedicated staff and volunteers of SSP will continue to advance the Society's mission, programs and publications in the coming months and years and look forward to our growth and success in helping the public understand, enjoy and use science in daily life.
H. Robert Horvitz
Chair, SSP Board of Trustees on behalf of the Board of Trustees