Collaboration with AAAS and WFPF
The Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation (RMF) selected the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2008 to receive an endowment to be used to further the goals of RMF and to build on the legacy of Charles Valentine Riley. Concurrently with establishment of the endowment, a collaborative agreement between RMF, AAAS, and the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF) was signed to implement the intent of the endowment.
Collaboration between AAAS, RMF, and WFPF provides a unique opportunity to build upon Charles Valentine Riley’s legacy as a “whole picture” person with a vision for enhancing agriculture through scientific knowledge. Professor Riley’s involvement with AAAS, beginning as a member in 1868, being elected a Fellow in 1874, and serving as Vice President for the biology section in 1888, brings into the perspective his broad view of how science impacts on agriculture when placed in the broadest contest.
Today, AAAS is the world’s largest federation of scientists and engineers, with 130,000 individual members and 262 affiliated societies and academies of science serving 10 million individuals. A prominent force for science and technology in Washington, DC, across the country, and worldwide, AAAS has a strong history of raising the visibility of key issues and has become a trusted resource for timely and objective information in the policy community and beyond.
The inclusion of the WFPF brings a very important practical dimension to the collaboration. WFPF grants an annual World Food Prize and is involved in a range of other activities intended to result in an adequate supply of nutritious food being available for people throughout the world.
The collaboration between AAAS, RMF, and WFPF is centered around an annual
Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture with the theme “ to promote a broader
and more complete understanding of agriculture as the most basic human
endeavor and to enhance agriculture through increased scientific knowledge.” Since this theme represents the goal put forth by RMF when it was founded in 1985, the three organizations collaborating to pursue common goals holds much promise for lifting the basic mission of RMF to greater heights.
Although not a formal part on the agreements with AAAS, RMF has worked in concert with AAAS to facilitate communications among scientific societies concerned with some aspect of agriculture, food, nutrition, and natural resources that are affiliated with AAAS. RMF organized a discussion session in December 9, 2009 led by then RMF Board member Catherine Woteki that included representatives from AAAS, USDA, RMF and six scientific societies. AAAS agreed to add a disciplinary chapter on agriculture, food, nutrition, and natural resources in the FY 2011 AAAS R&D report. This disciplinary chapter that was prepared again for the FY 2012 report is expected to be an increasingly important contribution to enhancing agriculture through increased scientific knowledge as more people develop a better understanding of the many interrelationships that impact on food and the environment. The complete FY 2012 report is available here.