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Stuart Firestein Elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Stuart Firestein and William Zajc Elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Stuart Firestein, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and William Zajc, chair of the Department of Physics, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a prestigious scientific society established in 1848.

Firestein and Zajc are among 539 inductees selected from across the nation. Last year the AAAS recognized four Columbia professors as new fellows.

Stuart Firestein
Stuart Firestein

Firestein was selected for his “distinguished contributions to the field of neuroscience,” according to the AAAS citation. Specifically, he was recognized for his “pioneering work” on the mammalian olfactory system. Firestein’s lab focuses on understanding how mammals, equipped with what he describes as “possibly the best chemical detector on the planet,” are able to sense and discriminate a vast number of molecules known to us as odors.

Dedicated to promoting the accessibility of science to a public audience, Firestein also serves as an advisor for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s program for the Public Understanding of Science. Recently he was awarded the 2011 Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award for excellence in scholarship and teaching. He has a forthcoming book on the workings of science for a general audience called Ignorance, to be published by Oxford University Press in the spring of 2012.

Read the complete article from Columbia News...