Submission Instructions

Conference Theme: Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth
The scientific endeavor has been at the forefront in developing innovations which have improved life on Earth in immeasurable ways. Now, life on this planet is facing new challenges from both nature and the built world, and scientific application is our best tool with which to react. By drawing on our current understanding of the world, and bravely experimenting with forward-thinking visions, the scientific community needs to respond with discoveries and developments to help solve many pressing problems.
Some research that may be addressed includes:

  • Within the agriculture-water-energy nexus, the developments that are needed to provide sufficient and higher quality, sustainable food for an ever-growing population;
  • The science and technology that combat the risks of increasing air and water pollution;
  • Biology at the molecular, cellular and organism levels, and how discoveries in this area may lead to further human well-being;
  • How data from blood samples and advances in medical imaging can improve medical diagnostics, prognosis, and treatment;
  • Determining the value and means of maintaining natural ecosystems and biological diversity in a changing planet;
  • Changes in extreme weather events, preventative actions, and the possibilities and limitations to adaptation strategies;
  • Prospects to improve urban living and mobility;
  • The science of the next industrial revolution – automation, robotics, artificial intelligence – and the how to mitigate the social disruption of displaced workers

This Annual Meeting celebrates the scientific position on appreciating and addressing the future of planet Earth by considering and collaborating with advances across disciplines, and the ways in which scientists are building networks with policymakers and the public to work more effectively and best take advantage of the many new developments that science and technology are introducing at an ever-increasing pace.

The editors of Science have provided a list of Hot Topics that may help spark ideas for symposium proposals.

Conference Dates and Location: February 13-16, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

Deadline: The submissions process opens on February 17, 2019 and will close on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 11:59pm Pacific.  All submissions must be submitted online.

Submissions are requested for both career development workshops and scientific sessions.

Career Development Workshops, with a submission deadline of April 18, 2019, are aimed at both individuals seeking careers in science and engineering, and professionals looking to sharpen or supplement their skills.  There workshops are instructional or informational in nature and are markedly different from a scientific session.  Workshops may have up to 3 presenters. All workshops are 90 minutes in length.

Types of Scientific Sessions

More detailed information on proposal development and submission can be found by following the links describing symposia and flash talks.

  1. 90-Minute Symposium Format: Symposia should be focused on topics and projects with broad appeal and relevancy. A moderated panel composed of 3 speakers give presentations (20 minutes each), followed by a 30 minute discussion/Q&A period with the audience.
  2. 10-Minute Flash Talk Format: Flash talks are intended to give individuals the opportunity to have the stage to themselves for ten minutes (one speaker only per submission). Flash talks can be on any novel and inspiring topic relevant to those attending the AAAS meetings. The range of possible topics is broad, but the talks themselves should be focused on a big idea that can be presented clearly and concisely in ten minutes. A video clip of a polished, well-organized prior talk is required in the proposal.

Assistance: Section U leadership is available to provide comments on your draft proposal. Please send materials to our Secretary Alyson Wilson ( or to Section Chair Betz Halloran (

Travel Support for Symposia Speakers: Speakers can apply to AAAS for travel support. Applications will open in September 2019. Since there are over 1000 speakers, travel support is not guaranteed. There is no separate process to apply to Section U for travel support.