Dr. Gehrke is a member of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee (PAAC) of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB), where he chairs the Special Issues subcommittee. He also chairs the newly-formed ASBMB Public Outreach Committee.
The Special Issues subcommittee of the PACC has generated several position papers for ASBMB on topics including stem cell research, as well as the critical importance of investigator-initiated basic science research. Upcoming position papers will focus on the need for greater diversity among scientists in the workforce, and on improving the pipeline of scientists-in-training at the K-12 education level.
During this time of shrinking resources for scientific research, it is extremely important for scientists to communicate effectively, not only with their peers and colleagues, but also with the lay public. A goal of the ASBMB Public Outreach Committee (POC) is to enhance scientific literacy. The POC works with ASBMB members to participate in local science fairs, to visit their local schools and encourage student involvement in science, and to develop programs that allow scientists to discuss their work with their communities.