Nobel Prize Winner Martin Chalfie and Burton Family Foundation Founder and President Christine Burton Join Society for Science & the Public Board of Trustees

WASHINGTON, DC (November 8, 2017) –– The Society for Science & the Public is excited to announce that Nobel Prize-winning scientist Martin Chalfie and distinguished philanthropist and investor Christy Burton have both joined the Society’s Board of Trustees. 

“We are very fortunate to have both Martin and Christy join our board and I look forward to their contributions. Martin’s experience as a scientist and Christy’s experience as a philanthropist will be invaluable to the Society,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News.

Chalfie is University Professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. Notably, he was recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery and development of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a biological marker. Chalfie’s research uses molecular, genetic and electrophysiological means to study how different types of nerve cells acquire and maintain their unique characteristics and how sensory cells respond to mechanical signals.

“For the past several years, I have had the privilege of meeting students at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, so I know how much the Society for Science & the Public does to promote and encourage a love of discovery in the sciences, math and engineering. I am delighted to be able to play an even more active role in the Society,” said Chalfie.

Chalfie was born in Chicago, obtained both his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and did postdoctoral research with Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England. He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in 1982.

Burton is co-founder of the Burton Family Foundation and chairs the Foundation board. The Burton Family Foundation focuses much of its philanthropic investments in education equity, including providing support for college and career readiness programs for underserved high school students, college test prep camps and clubs. Additionally, the Foundation invests in high school and college students studying in STEM fields, such as sponsoring the Science News in High Schools program for 100 Arizona schools.

“I’m honored to serve on the Board of Trustees for Society for Science & the Public. I’m inspired by the work the Society is doing to engage young people, particularly those in underserved communities, in science, technology, engineering and math, and I look forward to working with the board to further their goals of informing, educating and inspiring scientific knowledge through STEM education and research.  I’m thrilled to join the Society’s Board of Trustees,” said Burton.

Burton also serves on the boards of ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation, Teach for America (Arizona), Support My Club and Social Venture Partners Phoenix. She is a member of Aspen Society of Fellows, Women in Philanthropy and Arizona State University Presidents Club. Burton holds a B.S. in Economics and Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University.

About Society for Science & the Public
Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).