Random Thoughts from Debbie

Hi Deborah,

I feel a combination of rejuvenation and exhaustion having attended my first in-person American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting since the pandemic began shortly after we left Seattle.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to see not only my old friends and colleagues, but a whole new generation of emerging S&T policy wonks -- many of whom I introduced to the S&T policy world.  Thanks to everyone who introduced themselves to me!  I thought, and confirmed with other senior colleagues, that this was the youngest and most diverse AAAS attendance that I can remember.  Quite exciting!

In other good news, I believe that those of us who have been laboring to move forward state S&T policy fellowship programs as well as related S&T state and local policy activities are also gaining recognition for the importance of these efforts.    As a reminder, the deadline to apply for most of these programs is coming up!

You can also build your S&T policy portfolio by publishing in  Forefront and and volunteering for ESAL - Engineers & Scientists Acting Locally and NSPN - the National Science Policy Network.  Forefront (where I'm co-editor) will shortly be announcing this year's S&T policy writing competition in partnership with NSPN. 

I'm speaking at a number of events this month that you can attend for free!.  Here they are with registration information:

U. of Michigan Engaging Scientists in Policy and Advocacy (ESPA) Science Communication Careers Panel March 14th at 6:30 PM EDT

Besides myself, other panelists are Alexandra “Sasha” Prokuda, Ph.D., Executive Director at the Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST); Teshell Ponteen Greene, Ph.D, Multimedia Developer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); Sunil Madan, Outreach Specialist for International Programs with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University. 

New York State Science and Technology Policy Writing Workshop Series

 #1: Policy Writing 101: A How-To Guide March 15, 2023 5:00-6:30 PM EST
 #2: Individualized Feedback Session March 29, 2023 5:00-6:30 PM EST

National Science Policy Network HBCU & MSI Science Policy College Tour  March 28 - 30, 2023

March 28  Welcome & Intro, Science Policy & The PhD Path, Science Policy 101 (when I'm speaking), Breakout Room Networking Activity
March 29  Fellowships & Careers, Local Research & Advocacy, SciPol Professional Development
March 30  Op-Ed Writing 101, Public Policy Career Story, Government Advocacy & Legislation

 I will also be speaking on "The Power of Knowledge: Science Communication and Public Health" at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Annual NIDDK Scientific Conference at noon on April 4.  This event is limited to those at NIH/NIDDK. 

Anyone, however, can register for the NIH/FAES Public Policy Series Workshops.  These are two-day live virtual sessions that cover all the formal classes that I teach beginning in April with one a month after that. You can take all to gain a certificate.  In August, I will be teaching an new NIH/FAES class on Equity Analysis and Science and Technology Policy. These classes are not free, but you can often use professional development funds to pay your tuition.

Finally, I'm speaking to the Mirzayan S&T policy graduate fellows about program evaluation on March 16 ,

Interested in hosting your own S&T Policy event?  Happy to help!  Click here to set up a day/time for a free discovery call.

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That's it for this month.  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. I'm particularly interested in hearing if you received a fellowship, job, or other opportunity.  Sharing your story can help inspire others who are on the same path you were a few years ago. 

Cool Resources 

During the AAAS Meeting, I learned a new term that I like quite a bit "Actionable Knowledge."  This is from an International Science Council report called "Unleashing Science: Delivering Missions for Sustainability."  

To meet 21st century challenges, and in particular the immediate science needs associated with Agenda 2030, the report offers an ambitious approach – a concerted effort to produce actionable knowledge through co-designed mission-oriented research. This must be supported, in addition, by continuing reforms of the existing science system, which will occur on a slower, but still relevant time scale.

I like it because it conveys to me that we need all sort of knowledge for action to occur.  This is not just from scientists, engineers, and health professionals but policymakers and community members who have their own kind of knowledge that is necessary for action to occur.  Below you can see a good example of a real-world logic model (which I teach about in my program evaluation class). Note that SDG stands for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals - another concept I really like.

Did You Know?

While at the AAAS Annual meeting, I took time to attend an information session run by 314 Action, which encourages STEM professionals to run for political office.  I found the session quite interesting with good advice to help you determine whether or not you should run and support if you decide to do so.  Although you might think primarily of Congress when running for office, you can have a great deal of impact at the local and state level and still maintain your regular full-time position.  Many state legislatures, for example, are part-time and only active a few months of the year.  School boards are another important way for STEM professionals to impact their local community. Here's their promo that will help you learn more if you're interested. 

Ever considered running for office but don’t know where to begin? Want to use a STEM background to influence change in your community? 314 Action supports people with STEM backgrounds in running for local, state and federal office. You can sign up to run for office on our website, or email Amy to set up a time to ask questions

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 get more information or sign up, go to this webpage.  You can also register for the new class, Equity Analysis for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals. This class is still in the pilot phase so sign up now while prices are low.
    • 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.  I now have workshops booked through August.  A 1.5-hour interactive virtual workshop is only $297. 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.  You can see more information and examples of past topics on this page.
    • PREMIERE EXECUTIVE COACHING FOR INDIVIDUALS OR SMALL TEAMS:  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. More information and frequently asked questions are on this page.
    • 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.  More information is and examples of past work is available on this page.

Thanks for reading!

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


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Deborah Stine
Science & Technology Policy Academy