Next Gen Scientists Assemble in Madison to Bring Science to the Policy Table

The National Science Policy Network is convening 300 early-career scientists from across the country to strategize around pressing science policy issues, such as climate change, medical ethics, cybersecurity, and more. The National Science Policy Symposium will take place at the Discovery Building and in Union South at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on Friday and Saturday, November 1 and 2.

Many local, state, and even national policies are made without proper scientific resources. When policy is made in a vacuum or based on misinformation, it often leads to disproportionate consequences to vulnerable populations, including LatinX, African Americans, and Indigenous People.

The event’s keynote speaker, Danni Washington, is the first African American and woman of color to host an American science television series, Xploration Nature Knows Best. The STEM educational show is syndicated nationwide, available on Amazon Prime, and is watched in nearly 95 million homes across the US. Other speakers include Jo Handelsman, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and former science advisor to President Barack Obama, Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC)—the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, Kamal Bell, founder of Sankofa Farms, and Brookings Institute Center for Technology and Innovation Fellow Dr. Nicol Turner Lee.

The event, with the theme Leveraging Science and Technology to Benefit Marginalized Populations, is hosted by Catalysts for Science Policy (CaSP), a graduate and post-doc led organization at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a local chapter of the National Science Policy Network. CaSP is supported by the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

The National Science Policy Network supports early-career science policy, advocacy, and diplomacy groups across the country, providing a platform for sharing resources, building relationships, and training the next generation of scientists and engineers to be pivotal voices in all levels of policymaking. NSPN is a project of Multiplier, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that helps protect and foster a healthy, sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.