Advances in science in recent decades have revolutionized the understanding of the nature of drug abuse and addiction and what society needs to do about them.
Alan Leshner, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will discuss the topic in a lecture titled “The New Science of Addiction and What It Means for Society” at the Library of Congress at noon on Tuesday, March 4
, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The lecture, which is sponsored by the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and the Employee Assistance Program, is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed.
According to Leshner, there is now a clear understanding that drug abuse and addiction are bio-behavioral phenomena with important biological, behavioral and social-context components. Those components must be recognized in developing prevention, treatment and social-policy responses to the problems.
Leshner has been chief executive officer of AAAS since December 2001. AAAS was founded in 1848 and is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society.
Prior to his arrival at AAAS, Leshner was director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has also served as deputy director and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and has worked in senior positions at the National Science Foundation. He was a professor of psychology for 10 years at Bucknell University.
Leshner received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physiological psychology from Rutgers University. President Bush appointed Leshner to the National Science Board in 2004. He also sits on the Advisory Committee to the director of NIH and represents AAAS on the U.S. Commission for UNESCO.