The Research!America 2019-2020 Microgrant Initiative is in full swing, with many early-career science policy groups currently planning events that bring together scientists, community, and policymakers. With support in part by the Rita Allen Foundation, funding for graduate student groups’ nonpartisan activities focusing on civic engagement, elevating the importance of scientific research, innovation and public health. These programs encourage dialogue between young scientists and local leaders about the roles science and research play in issues important to their communities. A few program highlights:
The University of California at Berkeley Science Policy Group is holding a series of roundtable discussions on topics that engage both STEM and social scientists as part of the Research!America Science Meets Science program. They are covering issues like wildfires, GMOs, and artificial intelligence. For each, they plan to generate a set of short videos about what was learned from these forums and roundtables.
The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) science policy group recently traveled to Sacramento (see photo) where group members discussed a variety of science topics to policymakers. Among them, treatments for substance use disorders, mental health, and cybersecurity. In addition to meetings with lawmakers, SPG members toured the State Capitol and met with current CCST fellows to learn more about the legislative process!
Mississippi State Valley University is working on an all-day event, hosting a Deliberative Democracy Community Forum. This advocacy project will allow students to explore civic engagement, build relationships within their communities, and promote citizen-centered democracy to address challenges in the Mississippi (MS) Delta community. Two participating graduate students’ abstracts were recently accepted for a poster presentation to the Conference of Minority Public Administrators on student advocacy. Other events currently underway include an adult science fair, poster sessions with policymakers, a policy memo writing competition, a series of scientific briefings to state lawmakers, and a podcast. To see a full list of microgrant recipients, check out our website.