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Immunologist J. John Cohen receives the 2010 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award
Date:2/16/2011

Med "empowers the students by explaining medicine in common language, without terminology, that they can comprehend," according to Cohen's nomination materials, and has improved the relationship between the medical school and the surrounding community. The Mini Med concept has been endorsed by the National Institutes of Health, Office of Science Education.

In 2003, inspired by the French Caf Philosophique, Dr. Cohen started Denver's Caf Scientifique, a public forum for scientific discussions of cutting-edge research and hot topics. Caf Scientifique is regularly attended by about 200 people, filling the room where it is held 10 times a year. A second Denver Caf Scientifique was started in 2010 and it had 150 attendees on its first night. Cohen also helped organize similar cafes in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Frisco, and Fort Collins in addition to other cities in the United States and Canada.

Recently, Dr. Cohen organized Art in Science | Science in Art, a juried exhibition of images representing scientific research products and artists' interpretations of scientific concepts by University of Colorado-affiliated scientists and artists. Each image is accompanied by an explanation of the relevant science written in layman's terms. Due to the exhibition's visual nature, it has reached a different audience than other science programs and has toured in libraries, restaurants, and science museums around the country over the last two years. A second competition is in the works.

AAAS Chief Executive Officer Alan I. Leshner, executive publisher of the journal Science, said: "Dr. Cohen has proven that he is highly deserving of the 2010 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award through his innovative efforts to make science interesting and engaging for the general public."

Dr. Cohen's research has focused on the process of programmed cell death, called apoptosis. His team was among the first to study this topic and one of Cohen's papers
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Contact: Katharine Zambon
kzambon@aaas.org
202-326-6434
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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