The Society for Science & the Public today announced that the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation, has awarded Maya Ajmera with the 2020 Public Service Award. Ajmera is President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.
NSB is recognizing Ajmera for “inspiring generations of young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators through the Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organization best known for its world class science research competitions, award winning science journalism, and expansive outreach and equity programs.”
The Public Service Award is presented to individuals and groups each year that have contributed substantially to increasing public understanding of science and engineering.
Ajmera has helped to transform the nearly 100-year-old Society, strengthening the Society’s science research competitions. She spearheaded a $100 million-dollar sponsorship with Regeneron for the Science Talent Search competition. She has also fostered greater participation and more sponsorship from several industrial leaders in the Broadcom MASTERS competition and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Under her leadership, the Society is also investing $11 million in STEM outreach and equity programming, with a goal of ensuring that every young person with a passion for STEM has an opportunity to pursue that passion.
Under her leadership as Publisher, the Society was able to save its flagship magazine, Science News, an independent source of science journalism since 1921. Ajmera achieved this by creating a new education pillar for the magazine, expanding access of Science News to 5,000 high schools across the country.
“Public service has always been a life-long passion of mine, from the time I launched the Global Fund for Children to more recently launching a suite of outreach and equity programs at the Society for Science & the Public,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of Jane Goodall, Alan Alda and Ira Flatow.”