Headlines for February 16, 2017
News from CCST
Teams in nine U.S. states will receive a planning grant to evaluate the potential to create a policy fellowship for scientists and engineers in their state capital, thanks to funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Simons Foundation.
Administered by CCST, this planning grant would support each grantee in completing landscape analyses, feasibility studies, and other strategic steps towards creating their own state-based, immersive science and technology policy fellowship. All nine teams will attend a grant launch workshop this coming weekend in Boston, co-hosted by CCST and the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program.
The California Council on Science and Technology is honored to welcome six new Council Members. A 30-member strong body of scientists, industry leaders, and scholars of the highest distinction, the Council itself is the principle operational body of CCST, leading its work and fulling its charter to respond to the Governor, the Legislature, and other entities on public policy issues related to science and technology. CCST also extends our sincere gratitude to Julie Meier Wright, Jeffrey Rudolph, David Martin, and George Blumenthal as they conclude their terms as CCST Council Members. We are ever grateful for their guidance and insights over the years in support of CCST, and in support of science and technology in the State of California.
Have you ever seen the rain? A new UC Irvine app will now help you answer that question.
CCST Council Member and UC Irvine Distinguished Professor Soroosh Sorooshian recently unveiled a new app, iRain, which visualizes rainfall patterns around the world, with data refreshed in as quickly as one hour. The app is available on the web and for Android and Apple devices, and offers public officials and citizens a new way to conceptualize rainfall patterns.
Can we leverage the amazing network of California Community Colleges to scale up the Maker movement, and create training spaces for future innovators? Read this new piece by California Community Colleges Vice Chancellor and CCST Board Member Van Ton-Quinlivan, and CCST Executive Director Susan Hackwood written for Evolllution.com --- and learn the vision and impetus driving the CCC Maker program.
Our CCST Science Fellows
CCST will be at the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston! Come say hello to CCST staff and CCST Science Fellows alumni all weekend, at our exhibit booth. And come listen to the Saturday session exploring how scientists can participate in the public policy process, organized by CCST Science Fellows alumni. See you in Boston! And don't forget to tweet at us @CCSTorg and @CCSTFellows during #AAASmtg!
One perk of the CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship is the opportunity to witness many of California's current events firsthand --- especially those related to science and policy.
Earlier this February, our 2017 CCST Science Fellows Julianne McCall, Laura McWilliams, Mike Peterson, and Mikel Shybut had the chance to tag along with the California Department of Water Resources for their monthly snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevada. The Science Fellows were on hand to assist Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, for this monitoring visit. (Photo courtesy of California DWR)
Greetings from Sacramento
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Few organizations in California understand how to communicate science to government lawmakers. Even fewer organizations have experience teaching PhD scientists how to provide such impartial advice, through year-long training fellowships.
And now, CCST will be the first to help other U.S. states create their own state policy training fellowships for scientists.
This year, partnerships in nine states are receiving seed funding to replicate or adapt our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program for their state government. Beginning with an all-day intensive workshop this week at the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, CCST will join with these nine teams, spanning Alaska to Connecticut, in a new, national network of state-level science policy training programs --- greatly increasing opportunities to help scientists become policy-savvy, and to help equip state leaders with science-savvy advisors.
We owe this milestone effort to three organizations: the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, for their unwavering role in funding our CCST Science Fellows and this new replication grant; the Simons Foundation, for their contribution to the replication grant; and finally, AAAS, whose federal-level science policy fellowship served to model our California fellowship, and who have graciously offered to co-host our replication launch workshop in Boston.
Science should inform public policy. This is the simple, nonpartisan ideal that CCST upholds and shares here in Sacramento, and now with other state capitals. CCST measures its success not just where pen meets paper, but where dialogue is brokered between inquiring leaders and leading scientists, and where nascent conversations mature into trusted relationships between the politician and the academician.
When the Governor's Office or the State Legislature calls for independent scientific assessments, CCST rises to the call and assembles issue-appropriate experts without bias. When a legislative or agency office adds another former CCST Science Fellow on staff because of their proven instinct and dedication, CCST works even harder to ensure the caliber of our fellowship recruiting and training.
This is because CCST understands the value of science informing policy, and the trust that grows when scientists successfully work together with policymakers. I look forward to sharing these lessons and gifts with our new colleagues --- helping make state policies beyond California stronger with science.
On a final note, I want to extend my deep appreciation for our four departing CCST Council Members: Julie Meier Wright, Jeffrey Rudolph, David Martin, and George Blumenthal. It was our sincere pleasure and honor to work alongside these trusted colleagues, whose experience as leaders in California's government, public outreach, industry, and higher education sectors have contributed much valuable insight to guide CCST's mission, impact, and reach. Their careers in public service have contributed greatly to CCST --- and to our great State of California.With My Thanks,
Charlie Kennel, PhD
Chair, Board of Directors
California Council on Science and Technology