President’s Letter, 2016-2017

posted Oct 26, 2015, 11:30 AM by Jim Brown   [ updated Aug 31, 2016, 7:01 AM by Francie Cuffney ]
In March of 1902 nine people gathered to discuss science in North Carolina and so began a new organization.  The group named William L. Poteat as the first President of the newly designated North Carolina Academy of Science.   114 years later the North Carolina Academy of Science is a robust organization, with membership and participation at annual meetings of more than 300.   The Academy is proud to serve membership at the senior, college and student levels.  It is thrilling to hear the presentations of undergraduates and see the level of academic scholarship evidenced.  It is rewarding to know that the Academy has been able to provide support, through Bryden and Yarbrough grants, to this next generation of scientists and to provide a welcoming venue for presentation of their results.

The mission statement of the Academy is to promote public appreciation of science, science education, scientific research and a meaningful role for science in public policy. Throughout its history the Academy has worked with agencies across the state to provided policy statements on diverse topics from evolution to management of hazardous wastes to more recent issues of fracking. 

Over the course of more than 100 years the Academy has seen many changes in society and in how the Academy functions within society.  In the last few years we have seen the movement to presence on the Web and on social media as well as moving the Journal of the Academy to an online publication.  Change and growth, necessary to thrive, occur only through the efforts of dedicated members.  No organization exists without the membership and the commitment of all, not just an active Board of Directors.

I am honored to be the current president of the North Carolina Academy of Science.  But my work as president is not near as important as the work of all of you, the membership.  As an organization we continue to face issues of budgetary constraints and membership involvement.  We are a robust Academy but in order to thrive and grow, we must all work together, support each other.  I encourage all members to consider how you can contribute to our mission, through supporting undergraduate research, contributing to our journal, offering to review journal submissions, joining the board, participation in the annual meetings.  There are so many ways to be an active member and the benefits are great to our Academy, to the State of North Carolina, and to science.  I look forward to working with all of you over the next year as together we help the North Carolina Academy of Science thrive.


Dr. Francie Cuffney