We are a group of graduate students (and a few undergrads, post-docs, faculty, and staff!) at UC Berkeley in STEM fields who are excited about the intersection of science and policy and eager to learn and share our knowledge on how policy influences science and vice-versa. As a group we have three main goals:
1. Raising policy literacy among scientists
Scientists are often unaware of the direct impact science policy has on science in areas like funding, long-term research planning, international collaborations, and graduate education. Part of our goal is to educate scientists on the intersection of science and policy, both in terms of “science for policy” and “policy for science”, so that we have more awareness as we progress in science on how state and national policy can influence our careers both within and outside of academia.
2. Improving Communication Skills
In graduate school, we are trained to communicate our research to specialists in our field and maybe to a general scientific audience. However, communicating science to policymakers requires different skills, and we provide opportunities to learn and practice effective communication with policymakers. Members have the opportunity to interface with the UC Berkeley and LBNL government relations teams, and even visit state representatives in Sacramento and participate in the AAAS CASE Workshop in Washington, D.C.!
3. Career Development
For those who want to further pursue a career in science policy, we regularly invite alumni of the AAAS and CCST Science and Technology Policy Fellowships to learn about their career paths and provide advice on our own applications. We have also hosted speakers from the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), faculty members from campus, and scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who are not involved in policy on top of their scientific research. Our trips to meet local, state, and national representatives are also unique opportunities to expand your network within the policy realm.
Here are a few highlights of projects and events we’ve worked on:
- Member Eric Lee won the 2018 UC Center Sacramento “STEM Solutions in Public Policy Award Competition” and introduced his bill in the CA legislature
- Hosted our inaugural Presidential Seminar featuring Roger and Patricia Falcone
- Sponsored four graduate students to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2019 AAAS CASE workshop
- Organized ongoing regional meetups with our science policy colleagues at Stanford and UC San Francisco
We meet on alternating Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm in 375 LeConte Hall (just northeast of the Campanile). Check out our upcoming events on the events page!
Want more science policy? Visit our page for science policy in the news.