December 8, 2011

Paul Bertsch, professor in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and director of UK’s Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment, was elected chair of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents at its recent semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The council is the leading organization for science and science education leadership development, association advancement and science and science education policy. The council’s associations and affiliate members represent close to 1.5 million scientists and science educators across the United States.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected by such an impressive collection of science and science education leaders to assume this role,” said Bertsch, a soil scientist in UK’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “My involvement with CSSP, first as president of the Soil Science Society of America and then as a board member, has been an invaluable experience, and I look forward to playing a leadership role in CSSP at this critical time for science and science education in the U.S.”

Among the many accomplishments of the council was the design of and advocacy for the establishment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which has been the key science and science education advisory organization for U.S. presidents since 1976.

CSSP also routinely provides advice to the chair and ranking members of the Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology, every chair and ranking member of appropriations committees with oversight of science and technology funding as well as the staff of every science-intensive federal department and agency.

The council’s current initiatives include working with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Academy of Sciences, and federal science-intensive agencies to transform undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at research universities.

Bertsch will begin his three-year term Jan. 1.