Random Thoughts from Debbie

Hi Deborah,

Well hello! It’s been a while since my last newsletter, and I’m back.  This is my first newsletter after teaching undergraduates as a visiting professor during the last academic year.  One lesson that I learned from that experience is that whether or not you’re an undergraduate, graduate, postdoc, or professional, the quality of work you produce is directly related to how much you care about influencing public policy.

Since this, in fact, is a “new beginning” - let’s talk about beginnings!

The beginning of the academic year is THE beginning of the year to me – as opposed to January 1 (New Year's Day) or October 1 (the federal fiscal year).  This began when I was a child and then transitioned to my daughter as she grew up and went on to college.  She just got married and began a new master’s degree in public health specializing in epidemiology at Temple University in Philadelphia (though she’s doing it remotely from our home base in Pittsburgh).  So the cycle begins again. . .  

On the personal front, I signed up for my Fall international adventure to Costa Rica (having conquered Iceland in the Spring). I love learning about other cultures and find travel is the best way to do that now that I’m flying again.

What about you?  When is your beginning of the year?  What are your goals related to science & technology policy for this academic year? 

Just hit reply to let me know your thoughts, how you’re doing, any questions you might have, and your feedback on any and all of this communication. My goal is to serve you exquisitely and I’m all ears.

New Pilot Class: Equity Analysis for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals

Each Fall and Spring, I'm now going to offer a "live" pilot class on a current topic at a substantial discount from our regular classes in exchange for feedback on the new class.  You'll still watch videos for content, as with our other classes, but you'll be part of a 4-week cohort where you'll workshop activities together.  Our first class is on Equity Analysis for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals. 

We talk a great deal about the importance of equity, but rarely do you see discussions of how to make it more than just something people say.  To do that requires equity analysis.  In 2021, President Biden signed five executive orders related to equity, some on his first day in office.  In the President’s “Whole-of-Government” Justice40 initiative, he set a goal that the Federal government make it a goal that “40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.”  As a result, the Biden Administration is focusing on the equity issue throughout government and its a great time to learn how to make a difference on this issue.  Upon completion, you'll receive a digital badge to post on LinkedIn.

  • Registration/Details: Go to this  link
  • Registration Deadline: Monday, November 21 (or when capacity is reached.)
  • Video Content Available: Week of November 21
  • Q&A Sessions (Optional):  Weeks of  November 28 and December 5, 12, and 19; Day/time picked by class vote.


  • Professionals: $147
  • Students, Postdocs, Unemployed: $97
  • Students, Postdocs, Unemployed (NSPN Members): $49

Register for this great deal before spaces run out!

Cool Resource

Interested in getting a better handle on writing about science and technology for the public?  Then go here to get a copy of a fantastic free resource from MIT’s Knight School of Journalism’s Science Editing Handbook.  Although designed for non-scientists who are editors, the advice within it is good for anyone who wants to communicate about science.  You’ll be surprised how much you learn.

For example, as a community, I think we should provide more graphics that anyone can use freely. The guide provides detailed guidance on how to do so for editors developing content for the general public.  These same tips will help you develop graphics for policymakers.

More Ways to Learn and Grow

The S&T Policy Academy has a number of ways for you to learn and grow:

    • ON DEMAND CLASSES FOR INDIVIDUALS:  Affordable classes that you can do at your own pace anywhere.  If you are a member of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN), you can get half off and apply for professional development funds that are enough to pay your entire tuition.  For each class you complete, you receive a digital badge.  Complete all four and you receive a certificate. To sign up, go to the S&T Policy Academy webpage
    • FALL WORKSHOPS FOR ACADEMIC AND STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, & NON-PROFITS:  Workshops can cover any science & technology policy topic of interest to the sponsoring organization for any timeframe.  Now is the time to sign up for these before my schedule fills up for the Fall.  A 1.5-hour interactive workshop is only $250. Schedule a no-cost no obligation consultation on my calendar if you’re interested so we can work together to identify what will work best for your group.
    • PREMIERE EXECUTIVE COACHING FOR INDIVIDUALS OR SMALL TEAMS:  Brand new this Fall and with limited space, premiere executive coaching is for individuals, groups of professionals, or Ph.D. candidates or postdocs who are interested in implementing science & technology policy analysis principles for a specific project, program, initiative, research paper, or dissertation. With coaching, you can learn life-long skills and at the same time reach your organization’s policy or communication goals. If you’re interested, please schedule a free consultation on my calendar to see if premiere executive coaching is a “right fit” for you.
    • DONE FOR YOU SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY POLICY ANALYSIS, PROGRAM EVALUATION, & COMMUNICATION:  If time and staff are limited, and you are a non-profit or academic organization, industry, or business who wants to get a message out to the policymakers, then the Science & Technology Policy Academy can work with your team to get that project done. We can gather both existing and new information via surveys, interviews, focus groups, or roundtable discussions with experts or stakeholders.  We can then produce communication products such as policymaker guides, policy briefs, case studies, videos, and infographics.  Want to chat further to see if we’re a good fit for each other?  Then please schedule a free consultation on my calendar.

Thanks for reading!

Dr. Deborah D. Stine, Founder and Chief Instructor, Science & Technology Policy Academy


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Deborah Stine
Science & Technology Policy Academy