Members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have elected Frederick C. Mosteller, chairman of the Biostatics Department, as the organization's president, the AAAS announced Monday.
Mosteller, who won a majority of votes mailed in by AAAS members, will begin a one-year training term as president-elect Jan. 9, 1979. He will advance to the AAAS presidency in January 1980, and will become the chairman of the organization's board a year later.
Despite his new duties, which include serving on the AAAS executive committee, board of directors and council, Mosteller will continue to teach full-time at Harvard.
He said yesterday he would like to see the AAAS bring more scientific issues, including those which are controversial, before the public.
Mosteller said he is "concerned that citizens understand science, because they need to know something about it to make decisions in society."
"They also need to understand the controversial scientific issues to make their judgements," he added.
Publish or Perish
The AAAS may begin publishing a new general interest science magazine aimed at the general public, Mosteller said. AAAS, the world's largest science organization, already publishes Science Magazine, a more technical journal.
Mosteller, who has taught at Harvard since 1946, has applied sophisticated statistical methods to politics, literature, health, education, legislation and weather modification.
His published works consist of more than 20 books and 100 articles, including studies of innovation in the criminal justice system, mathematical theories of learning, determining the authors of certain disputed Federalist Papers, and an assessment of children's educational progress.
"This is a well-deserved honor," Nan M. Laird, assistant professor of Biostatistics, said yesterday. "He [Mosteller] is sincerely interested in his work and in his students."
Laird added she believes Mosteller will "make a significant contribution to science in his new position."