[PHOTOGRAPH] Edward Derrick
The KACST-AAAS collaboration dates to 2008, said former program Director Edward Derrick, who now oversees it as head of the association's Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs.
A former high-ranking University of Michigan administrator knew of AAAS's work in the state; he
also had close ties with Saudi science leaders who were beginning to implement their plan.
helped arrange a meeting at AAAS headquarters in Washington, D.C.
"They had decided on making these investments in research projects," Derrick
said, at least three reviewers assess each proposal; about 300 scholars we recruited to evaluate the round of proposals received from KACST late last year. (The AAAS Technology Services division developed a Web site that allows the reviewers to log in securely and conduct reviews.)
The project has brought Derrick and current project Director Mark Milutinovich into close engagement not only with KACST, but with a number of Saudi universities and research centers.
While many of the early proposals were worthy of funding, Derrick
said, proposals now are increasingly stronger and more sophisticated.
and a hand-picked team of experts visited the kingdom to assess current facilities and future plans, with an eye toward helping the kingdom achieve those goals.