Statement of Task

The Division of Earth and Life Studies will establish a roundtable that aims to provide a venue for dialogue and discussions among leaders from federal agencies, the business community, media, non-profit, and academic sectors about effective strategies for life scientists’ engagement of the public. The roundtable will also facilitate on-going information exchange among these leaders about such issues as developments and implications of rapidly advancing areas of the life sciences that have the potential to raise public discussion and debate;  models for effective informal education about life science issues; strategies to improve scientists understanding of  and contribution to trusted sources of information for different segments of the adult public; and bridging perspectives and concerns across different groups. The major goals of the roundtable are:

  • To provide a mechanism for collaboration and communication among stakeholders with expertise and/or interest in effective public engagement in the life sciences
  • To raise awareness among participating members about current strategies from and ongoing or upcoming activities of multiple disciplines that might be used to guide initiatives to improve life scientists public engagement
  • To advance discussion and encourage collaboration among stakeholders in the life sciences, communication and public engagement about effective approaches to public engagement in the life sciences at the community and the national level including challenges, leverage points, and potential roles for federal, state, local, private, and non-profit organizations and institutions in public engagement efforts.

The roundtable may commission papers and use public workshops or webinars to inform its discussions. Roundtable meetings will be designed to help to illuminate new engagement approaches, emerging issues, needs, gaps, or priorities that the National Academies and other interested groups might wish to consider in the future.


The Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was a multidisciplinary forum that ran from 2013 to 2015. Many of the discussions initiated during its workshops have continued through other venues within and outside of the NASEM.

This website is no longer regularly updated

Please visit National Academies Press website for the most recent NASEM reports and workshop summaries on public engagement and science communication.