Ever since joining Graduate Student Government (GSG) and advocating to Californian Senators and Representatives in Washington, D.C. (four times!) on behalf of all USC graduate students, I have become increasingly interested in national policy and how it relates to science and research. I attended a couple of USC Science Policy Group’s meetings and decided to head to the 2nd Annual Science Policy Symposium for a deeper dive.
Hosted by the National Science Policy Network (NSPN) and Science and Education Policy Association (SEPA), the symposium took place in New York City and the Rockefeller University. Because they gave out travel awards, I was able to attend as a fully funded fellow!
Many speakers with experience working with the U.S. State Department, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, the publisher of the journal Science), and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) discussed topics ranging from the federal budget to science advocacy on a local level to policy-making.
Having only a little experience in this area, I was able to absorb a lot. Including real researchers is essential to crafting effective policy; therefore, there are more and more opportunities for recent PhD graduates to get involved with government work. The possibility of being a science or healthcare adviser to the next administration is certainly interesting!!
Lucky for me, I was also able to visit some family and friends during my short trip! The last time I had gone through New York was in 2010, so it was nice to see the sights and catch up with some of my high school roommates and classmates again. Hopefully it won’t be 8 more years until the next trip!