April 2023

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KAS has been standing up for Science in Kentucky since 1914! We encourage aspiring scientists, promote science literacy, give science a voice in policymaking, and recognize those who make the future brighter through scientific discovery.


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The Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science publishes work in the Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.
Digital issues are published as Issues-in-Progress which expedites publication for authors.


News from Partners

EPSCoR & IDeA News Established Program for Stimulating Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA), including federal funding opportunities and more! EPSCoR is a program serving states such as Kentucky, to build capacity for federally funded scientific research.

Ky- INBRE Recent News  KY IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence supports biomedical researchers and educators within the Commonwealth. The purpose of the network is to develop infrastructure and capacity for biomedical research and training in the state. Their newsletter  has training events, funding leads, and job opportunities.  You can also subscribe at the above link.

How to Join the KAS Listserv

KAS has set up a listserv so our members can talk to each other, to share science-related news & announcements, offers, requests, questions and answers.

 Opt In to the listserv:
Log In at the KAS website (https://kyscience.org/)
In the Member Menu, go to Communication / Message Boards
Click to Opt In to the KAS Member Listserv (and choose the Daily Digest option if  you prefer)
To post to the listserv, send a message to kyscience@memberleap.com

Share your news with KAS members

If you have something to share in the monthly KAS newsletter, get in touch with our Newsletter editor, Mark dela Cerna.


Statement on Senate Bill 150 by 2023 KAS President Julie Ann Reizner

The Kentucky Academy of Science (KAS), comprised of membership from across the Commonwealth who educate, mentor, and support Kentucky students of all ages, hereby formally opposes the actions of Kentucky’s current legislature regarding Kentucky SB150. This bill directly ostracizes an already marginalized population of Kentuckians, our LGBTQIA+ youth. It also severely restricts and undermines parental choices under the guise of protecting and supporting parental rights. We refuse to subject our students to the harm and bigotry allowed by this bill, and we will work to protect them. As a scientific society, we hold that our state should respect health professionals as they make decisions for their patients based on the best medical science available.
KAS strongly opposes passage of SB150​.

The Kentucky legislature overrode the Governor's veto on March 29 and passed the bill.

Read the full statement here.

Taking KAS to the Next Level from 2023-2026

KAS President Julie Reizner

Over the past year, your KAS board has been developing a Strategic Plan to allow KAS to better serve, and collaborate with, other scientists and educators in our communities and our state.  We've identified several initiatives that involve diverse tasks such as: 
  • Developing relationships with elected officials
  • Engaging with K-12 teachers
  • Working on our brochure and developing new marketing materials
  • Exploring partnerships with other organizations
  • Determining and securing funding
  • and much more...
 See where you can contribute to realizing KAS' Strategic Plan
We are asking members to jump in if any of these tasks sound interesting to you.  This is a great way to get more involved in KAS and help us to expand the presence of science education and outreach, and even influence policy, in our state.  We are also forming a Strategic Planning Committee (and seeking volunteers to serve) who will advise with funding and determining a priority level for each of these tasks, so you will have support and we will all work together.  If desired, for tenure or other purposes, you will also receive a letter documenting your volunteer service.
I very much look forward to seeing the Responsible Party column in this document fill up with names of dedicated and brilliant people excited to help KAS realize and implement its strategic plan.  I look even more forward to seeing what amazing things you accomplish! Thank you!

Support science on Kentucky Gives Day, May 9!

Rob Weber

For the second straight year, the Kentucky Academy of Science will participate in Kentucky Gives Day. The May 9 event gives nonprofit organizations across Kentucky a chance to focus attention on a 24-hour fundraising blitz in support of worthwhile services and missions.

Please join in our efforts to spread understanding and appreciation of science by helping raise money or making a donation to KAS on May 9. Fundraisers participate by sharing a link on their social media pages that asks others to join in supporting a worthy cause. If you are willing to do this for KAS, please send a message policy@kyscience.org so that we can provide you with a link to a fundraising page that you can share.
You can also support our efforts by giving a donation on Kentucky Gives Day. We’ll have more info in next month’s newsletter and on our social media pages, so stay tuned!
Of course, there’s no need to wait if you want to support KAS today. If you are willing to help our efforts to support scientific progress across Kentucky, click here to make a donation. Thank you!

General Assembly’s 2023 session adjourns

Rob Weber

When the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2023 session started in January, some legislative leaders said the session would focus on small tweaks and adjustments to state law rather than major legislation. It didn’t turn out that way.

Passage of medicinal cannabis legislation as well as one of the most far-reaching anti-trans bills in the nation ensures that people across the state will be affected by the 2023 legislative session in significant ways for time to come. Lawmakers’ approval of the medicinal cannabis legislation, SB 47, means Kentucky will join most other states by legalizing the purchase and use of medicinal cannabis for people with certain health conditions, starting in 2025. Medicinal cannabis will be legal in non-smokable forms for Kentuckians with conditions including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, chronic nausea, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Like the medicinal cannabis legislation, the anti-trans bill considered by lawmakers received final approval late in the session. The legislation, Senate Bill 150, was vetoed by the governor, but lawmakers voted to override the veto on March 29, the second-to-last day of the session. SB 150 will limit gender-affirming health care services for minors, including the use of hormones and puberty blockers. Under the legislation, transgender students will not be allowed to use school restrooms that match their gender. The Dept. of Education will be prohibited from recommending that teachers use pronouns preferred by transgender students. No student, regardless of grade level, will receive any instruction studying or exploring gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Because Senate Bill 150 interferes with medical care and efforts to make classrooms safe places for all students, KAS President Julie Reizner issued a statement outlining problems with the bill before it was approved. You can read the full statement here: https://bit.ly/3FOZBLB

click here to see more updates.

KAS sends science policy questionnaires to candidates for governor

Rob Weber

What are the Kentucky governor candidates’ thoughts on science policy issues?
KAS hopes to find out!
Last month, the KAS Education and Advocacy Committee sent questionnaires to candidates running for governor. Questions covered topics including technological innovation, science education, health, the environment, and cybersecurity. There are 15 candidates running for governor, according to filings in the KY Secretary of State’s office. KAS used contact info found in those filings as well as  in internet searches to distribute questionnaires to 13 of the 15 candidates, including all the best-known candidates. Two lesser-known candidates who have not yet received questionnaires do not list contact info in their online candidate filings and do not appear to have an internet presence. Still, we hope to find a way to share the questionnaire with them.


Kentucky’s primary election is May 16 and the general election is Nov. 7. KAS asked candidates to return completed questionnaires by April 20 so that we can share responses with members in advance of the primary election.

Kentucky Natural History Collections Inventory update

Thank you to members of the Kentucky Academy of Science and colleagues who have contributed information in our Survey of Kentucky Natural History Collections. We have been gathering some valuable information from you and we are looking forward to sharing out what we have learned. Stay tuned! It should be very helpful for researchers and hopefully to stewards of these collections.

If you know of a natural history specimen collection in Kentucky, tell us about it. Fill out our survey here and share it - we're reaching out to colleagues in private, public, academic, and non-profit sectors. Many thanks to our collaborators at EKU for helping organize and analyze the data.

School’s commitment to “Science of Reading” showing results

Rob Weber

There’s been a growing focus in Kentucky and other states on the “Science of Reading,” the body of research about the way the brain learns to read. Dr. Jena Hinds, a Special Education Professor at Northern Kentucky University and a member of the KAS Education and Advocacy Committee, and I visited a school that adheres to the “Science of Reading” to see this approach to literacy instruction in practice. The school, Farmer Elementary, is known for having some of the highest reading scores among low-income students in Jefferson County.

Dr. Jena Hinds interacts with students during a visit to Farmer Elementary School in Jefferson County. Hinds is a Special Education Professor at Northern Kentucky University and a member of the KAS Education and Advocacy Committee.

While there, we saw students who were highly attentive and engaged in instruction that focused on foundational skills, such as phonics, and multi-sensory learning techniques. A video about the visit to Farmer Elementary has been posted on the KAS YouTube Page and seen below.

KAS seeking support for student contests to encourage science education

Rob Weber

KAS is requesting donations to support contests that encourage students to use their creativity while learning about science. The contests were organized after a state legislator asked KAS for help getting students involved in efforts to raise awareness about PFAS chemicals. In response, KAS organized three student contests: a contest for college students to make an infographic about PFAS chemicals; an essay contest for high schoolers to share reasons people should be aware of “forever chemicals” in our environment; and an art contest for grade schoolers in which they create art depicting the theme “Clean Water, Healthy World.
KAS members are currently judging entries in collaboration with state lawmakers. We’re also trying to raise $465 to award prizes to contest winners. Will you join our efforts to our efforts to encourage creativity while advancing scientific knowledge? If so, please make a donation by clicking here: https://bit.ly/41PNg32

If you are interested in going a step beyond giving a donation, you can hold your own social media fundraiser in support of the student contests. To do so, all you’ll have to do is post a link that KAS will provide to you on any of your social media pages. Anyone who clicks the link can learn about our fundraising efforts and make a tax-deductible donation that goes straight to KAS for the student contests. To participate, please send a message to policy@kyscience.org.

Science Job Postings around KY

We have several new job postings this month that you can view at our jobs page. Please send any job announcements to executivedirector@kyscience.org and include contact information and closing date. 
KAS Newsletter - April 2023