In an article based on her 1997 presidential address to the American Association of the Advancement of Science, Lubchenco (1998), who referred to the coming century as the “century of the environment,” proposed a new social contract for science

predicated upon the assumptions that scientists will (i) address the most urgent needs of society, in proportion to their importance; (ii) communicate their knowledge and understanding widely in order to inform decisions of individuals and institutions; and (iii) exercise good judgment, wisdom, and humility. The Contract should recognize the extent of human domination of the planet. It should express a commitment to harness the full power of the scientific enterprise in discovering new knowledge, in communicating existing and new understanding to the public and to policy-makers, and in helping society move toward a more sustainable biosphere. (p. 495)

Lubchenco was quick to stress that the suggestion was not intended to be a call to abandon fundamental research, which she argued is more needed than ever before. However, she did urge a greater direction of fundamental research on the development of knowledge needed to address pressing social problems, of which environmental change was emphasized as one.