University of Maine
AIP Mather Policy Intern
American Institute of Physics
In recent years, the relationship between modern science and democracy has become controversial at best, antagonistic at worst. Some scholars go so far as to say that in the United States, society is ‘at war’ with science. Over the past thirty years, we have seen a series of political conflicts between science, policy, and the public. Examples are the commercialization of genetically modified foods, the politicization of climate science, scientific dissent on public health issues, the fight between outdated fuel sources and new alternative fuel industries, the growth of digital information and the privacy and vulnerability problems that arise from that. To counter these, policymakers have moved to feed a growing hunger for increasing transparency. This is increasing the public’s engagement with science and policy, allowing data to be open for public consumption and scrutiny, and giving rise to more surveillance of science. In this talk, I will argue that while transparency in science and policy are beneficial to society, there are consequences that must not be overlooked. Using my observations of my time on Capitol Hill, I will present considerations that must be made as we move towards an open-science and open-policy based society. I will show that we have an opportunity to reshape the relationship of science and policy and, more importantly, the role of science for the public.
I recently graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics with Honors. For the past few years, I have been increasingly interested in how policy and administration can positively affect different communities. At University of Maine, I served as the Student Representative to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees, as well as other leadership positions that allowed me to work with higher education leaders in the State of Maine. Working alongside them to influence education policy and help to continuously improve the state of higher education in Maine led me to realize I have an extreme passion for policy. I have also been blessed to serve on the National Council and Executive Committee of the Society of Physics Students and get to better understand the inner workings of a large educational institution like SPS and AIP. Along with my military career, I have come to understand that working to develop and improve policy, particularly science, education, and health policy, is something I want to interweave throughout my career. I am so honored to be an AIP Mather Policy Intern this summer and I am looking forward to broadening my perspectives on policy-making at the Federal level.
Outside of my work, I am an avid long-distance runner, art and dance enthusiast, extreme adventure junkie, and bookworm. I am currently in the medical school application cycle and I am hoping to pursue a career in medicine as a pediatric neurosurgeon.