By May Dobosiewicz and Kimberly Siletti The intersection between public policy and science has become increasingly palpable in the past few months. Concerned with the policies recently issued from Washington, D.C., the President of The Rockefeller University has written public statements. Some scientists are even training to run for political office themselves. Scientists around the world participated in the March for Science – calling for evidence-based policymaking and continued science funding. Clearly many scientists are already engaging in political discussions and using their training to make social impacts. But how do scientists enter the conversation? The Rockefeller University’s Science Policy and Diplomacy course, funded by the Hurford Foundation and led by Jesse Ausubel, Mande Holford, and Rodney Nichols, explored the ways in which scientists have shaped politics on both domestic and international scales. The course was structured as a round-table discussion with a different speaker each class. This format provided an international mix of students the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, and explore policy issues through the lens of various decision-makers. After bringing an impressive lineup of speakers to Rockefeller, Jesse and Mande took the class on a two-day field trip to D.C. Participants were offered a
by Avital Percher and Devon Collins Rockefeller attracts people who are passionate about science. It is therefore no surprise that many researchers here move from behind their workbenches to get involved in projects that bring science beyond York Avenue. From art projects to public outreach, these endeavors demonstrate an interest in establishing ties between scientific and public communities. One aspect of this public engagement is science diplomacy, which focuses on the use of diplomatic efforts for the furtherance of science and vice versa (a more detailed description was made in last year’s article1). While science diplomacy might seem an esoteric concept, best left to political science majors and bureaucracy lovers, we posit that the general scientific community's involvement in this field is critical. Unfortunately, among scientists, the importance of science diplomacy is often poorly appreciated and afforded little priority. For those who are less familiar with this topic, we strongly encourage taking the Science and Diplomacy class being taught on campus for the past few years (and being taught again this spring through the generosity of the Hurford Foundation). The class goes on for roughly six weeks, and brings in a wide variety of speakers from different fields and organizations.