Student Activities

A policy immersion program in Washington, D.C., for science and engineering graduate students

Presenter: Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO)

Science Outside the Lab explores the relationships among science, policy, and societal outcomes in a place where many important decisions about these things are made – Washington, D.C. During the two-week workshop, students will meet and interact with the people who fund, regulate, shape, critique, publicize and study science, including congressional staffers, funding agency officers, lobbyists, regulators, journalists, academics, museum curators and others.

With the intersections between science, politics and society making the headlines every day, it is more important than ever for scientists and engineers to know how the decisions that affect them are made. Washington, D.C., where the $147 billion of federal science money and countless policy decisions originate, is the perfect setting to begin learning about the complicated world of science policy. Junior scientists and engineers who understand the goals and implications of publicly funded science will likely have an advantage when seeking jobs and funding. This program also will explore numerous careers that take advantage of science and engineering training but don’t involve laboratory work.

Ethics Across Campus

An ongoing article published in our Oredigger Newspaper

Current Author: Brian Zahartos, PhD Candidate in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Statistics, Colorado School of Mines

Brian discusses ethical issues and how it is viewed through the philosophical and scientific lens.  His background in both discplines provides an accute understanding of the cross sections of these areas, and many more interesting perspectives. Please follow this link to access the electrononic copy of these articles.

Archives of these articles done by Shira Richman and Steven Wooldridge in the past can be found in the left tab under Essays.

Science Outside the Lab showed that more discussion of the broader societal implications of performing research is needed within the scientific community.  Science is used by more than just scientists. Although science does not drive policy decisions on its own, policy makers at all levels use science to help defend their positions. Scientists play a role in policy creation whether they are aware of their role or not.  It is important for scientists to be aware of the role they play. Scientists have a choice to what degree they want to be involved in policy making. There are opportunities available for scientists and engineers who want to help decide policy. Scientists who only want to perform research have a place, as well. However, ignorance of the broader implications of research is just as ethically wrong for a scientist as ignorance of professional norms.

Ryan Hort, PhD student
Environmental Science and Engineering