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Science Advocacy and Professional Development Trips to Washington, D.C.
Annually since 2017
Each year, PCS organizes a science advocacy and policy professional development trip to Washington D.C. Students and postdoctoral researchers meet with Congressional legislators from both political parties and both chambers of Congress to share their ideas and expertise on policy issues related to their research, including energy and the environment, science education, and healthcare. The trip involves weeks of preparation researching policy topics, scheduling meetings with the offices of individual legislators, and creating written policy briefs. By the end of the trip, participating Princeton students learned not only the details of their particular policy issue, and also learned how to effectively communicate their research and insight on policy issues to members of government.
In addition to visiting Capitol Hill, the trips have included opportunities to learn about career options in science policy. The participants of the May 2017 trip spent the morning at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where we heard from staff about their various post-PhD programs, including the S&T Policy Fellowship and the Mass Media Fellowship. In November 2017, we met with members of the Union of Concerned Scientists for informal networking as well as with the National Academy of Sciences to discuss their soon-to-be released report on Revitalizing STEM Graduate Education for the 21st Century. Subsequent trips have included further visits to the National Academies of Science, the Congressional Research Service, the Federation of American Scientists and the Department of the Interior Library.
Speakers on Campus
We regularly bring in speakers from campus to learn about their experience in science policy. Past speakers have included Professor Heather Howard, Professor Sharon Weiner, Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker and Office of Government Affairs team member Julie Groeninger.
Science Communication Trip to the Franklin Institute
July 27, 2018
In July 2018, we went to visit the Franklin Institute, a science museum in downtown Philadelphia. We met with several employees at the museum: an exhibit designer, a staff scientist, and an outreach coordinator, about their experiences in science communication. We also talked about effective ways to communicate science, and how they work to design informative and engaging exhibits. We then spent the rest of the afternoon looking through the exhibits in the museum!
Princeton Public Library Teach-Ins
October 12, 2017
On October 12, 2017, the Princeton Citizen Scientists teamed up with the Princeton Public Library to host a series of teach-ins centered around science and democracy. Teach-in topics included the costs of healthcare, energy efficient initiatives in New Jersey, national climate change policy, immigration and social justice, education in prisons, cybersecurity, and nuclear weapons.
March for Science in Washington, D.C.
April 22, 2017
On April 22, 2017 the Princeton Citizen Scientists organized a trip to attend the March for Science in Washington, DC. Nearly 50 members of the Princeton community went on a bus that PCS had chartered. We left Princeton before 5am for DC and arrived after 10pm back in Princeton. The day was rainy but we were able to listen to the speakers and march to Capitol Hill and back with the rest of the participants in the march.
Day of Action
March 6, 2017
Over 1,200 members of the Princeton University community participated in the 2017 Day of Action to focus on the political challenges faced by the United States and the world. Through 64 teach-ins and lectures, participants engaged in topics including “Defending Democracy: Political Lessons from Around the World,” “Information Control on the Internet: From Censorship to Propaganda,” “Speech & Rhetoric in American Democracy: How Discourse Shapes Activism and Civic Life,” and “Making Progress on Climate Change Policy in the Next Four Years.” The goal of the Day of Action was to reaffirm the responsibilities of a community devoted to scholarship, the use of knowledge for the common good, and the ideals of diversity, free-speech, democracy, and justice.