I’m a huge believer in the idea that to make a difference, you should start where you’re already at. For me, that’s a graduate student studying bioengineering in Arizona. Many of us start graduate school with grand plans that inevitably are cut to size by our advisor. It takes time to learn the tools to make an impact, so we start small by learning to be the best scientists and community members we can be in our own labs. Ultimately these small steps help us to leave graduate school with the skills and confidence to make that big impact we wanted to when we first started.
April 5, 2019 9:12 AM EDT
My Experience with the Science Network Mentor Program: Finding the Path to Advocacy that Works for You
November 1, 2018 4:20 PM EDT
About 12 years ago, in the basement of a poorly-attended Jewish temple in upstate New York surrounded by stale goldfish crackers and glasses of apple juice, my 15-year-old self was torn between listening to Al Gore’s video-taped message that climate change was the biggest issue of our time and not wanting to be persuaded by anyone about anything, especially not in a semi-religious setting. Since then, I’ve pursued undergraduate and graduate degrees in ecology, worked on several studies documenting the effects of climate change on the natural ecosystem, and taught courses on climate change and environmental sciences to challengingly politically diverse classes of students in the Midwest. In retrospect, Al Gore (with backup from sad, skinny polar bears floating on melting ice to melancholy music) did make a serious impression on that 15-year-old. Read more >
October 31, 2018 1:12 PM EDT
The National Science Policy Network (NSPN) unites groups of early career scientists and engineers nationwide who want to elevate the voice of scientific evidence in policy. We champion the value of science and evidence-based decision-making and believe it is critical for scientists and engineers to step outside of the research lab and communicate the importance diverse perspectives in the policy process to the rest of the scientific community, policy makers, and the general public. Read more >
October 19, 2018 10:33 AM EDT
The Environmental Protection Agency released its updated regulatory agenda this week. That document lays out the timeline for regulatory actions the agency is working on over the next two years. One item of note: the administration is delaying by a year its timeline for finalizing the agency’s terrible proposal to restrict the science it would rely on to only those studies where the raw data and all other information can be made public. The science community and those who believe our public health and safety protections should be based on science can take some credit for forcing the agency to re-think and consult before moving ahead. Read more >
September 4, 2018 2:03 PM EDT
“Facts aren’t impartial. They have great implications for people. They threaten people.” A few dozen graduate students and handful of public employees and farmers in the room nod thoughtfully over Margaret’s comment, laughing as she says, “It has never been a rational world!” On a June afternoon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this group is looking to a panel of experts on science communication and advocacy with big questions: how should new scientists start public communication, and where do they have leverage in food systems policy?