S.K. De Datta, associate vice president for International Affairs at Virginia Tech, will be named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the society's 2009 meeting.

De Datta will be recognized for his contributions to global food security, the Green Revolution, and environmental stewardship in a global context. Election as a fellow is a distinction given to AAAS members by their peers. This year, 486 of the organization’s 119,045 members will be honored.

De Datta, director of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED), came to Virginia Tech in 1991 and since then has led OIRED in the management of several multimillion dollar grants from USAID to raise the standard of living in developing countries. Before coming to Virginia Tech, De Datta worked at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. As a young agronomist there, De Datta published his research findings that a variety of rice known as IR-8 could produce 10 times the yield of conventional rice. This kind of rice was critical in the Green Revolution of the 1960s, the development that allowed agricultural production to keep pace with the population growth of that time.

Over his career, De Datta has been named Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Society of America; he has received the Norman Borlaug Award for Outstanding Contribution to Agricultural Sciences; and four years ago was presented with a citation in Manila by Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for his contribution to the Filipino people.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science . Founded in 1848, the nonprofit society comprises 262 affiliated societies and academies of science.

This year’s AAAS fellows will be announced in the News and Notes section of Science on Dec. 19. The awards will be presented at the AAAS annual meeting Feb. 14 in Chicago.

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