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AIP Mather Policy Intern
American Institute of Physics
Experience Science and Policy Firsthand
The primary purpose of the AIP Mather policy internship program (supported by the John and Jane Mather Foundation for Science and the Arts) is to promote awareness of and interaction with the policy process in Washington, D.C. for undergraduate physics students.
Eleanor and fellow SPS intern Riley are working in Congressional offices on Capitol Hill, directly engaging in science policy issues and efforts in the nation's capital. As part of their service, Eleanor and Riley are introducing the other SPS interns to the public policy process by arranging field trips to appropriate science policy events or locales–Congressional hearings, governmental agencies and/or facilities, for example.
As an AIP Mather Policy Intern, I spent this summer working with the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology minority staff. This committee has jurisdiction over a variety of federal agencies, including NASA, NIST, NOAA, and NSF, and covers science policy areas ranging from energy regulation to STEM education. Through my work with committee staff, I gained a greater familiarity with and appreciation for the legislative process, particularly the intersection between science and public policy. My work covered a wide range of tasks, including assisting with the preparation of hearing materials and legislation, documenting hearings within and outside of the committee, and performing basic background research on topics related to upcoming hearings. I will present an overview of the committee system in the House of Representatives and some specific issues that were considered by the science committee during my time on Capitol Hill. Finally, I will discuss my observations of the efforts currently being made to bridge the gap between scientists and politicians as well as suggestions for how these can be expanded on.
I am a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, majoring in physics, and a member of Sigma Pi Sigma. I have been heavily involved in SPS since my freshman year, serving in a number of leadership roles. I have a passion for science communication and education, and have led several efforts to expand the chapter’s outreach efforts through chapter awards from SPS National. This year I am excited to serve as president of Rhodes SPS.
Outside of my work, I enjoy singing and playing piano, and have recently taken up the organ. Having lived abroad for several years, I am also fluent in Italian. After graduation, I plans to pursue a career in international patent law.