Week 8: Magnum Opus

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Friday, July 17, 2015


Elias Kim

Over the weekend, I gave way to my anti-social side and got some much needed rest. On Saturday, Drew and I met up with Ben, one of last year’s Mather interns. Ben recently graduated from Tufts, and has just started working at a science and education lobbying firm in DC. We met at a cool restaurant in Dupont Circle where I had a very good omelet! I spent much of the rest of the weekend studying for the LSAT, and I met up with a friend to play soccer.

The week started off slowly, as I continued to put some finishing touches on my big project. On Tuesday, a couple of interns and I went to a hearing by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee on prison system reform. It was a cool experience, as President Obama had just commuted the sentences of nearly 50 non-violent criminals across the country. The OGR committee has really taken a step in the right direction by encouraging bipartisanship with this issue. Two senators, Cory Booker and John Cornyn gave passionate testimony and several governors outlined the plans that they had begun to set up in their home states.

The following day was eventful, as I was able to attend several more hearings and briefings. The first was an informational briefing in the Senate on the progress of the vehicle to vehicle communication technology that I have been following. That afternoon, I went over to the Senate to see the Foreign Relations Committee interview several ambassador nominees. This was a very cool experience, as I got to hear the nominees talk about their experiences working in different areas of the world. On the way there, I ran into Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and my senator, Jeanne Shaheen! Later that night, Drew and I met up with the other SPS interns at Tracy’s house to discuss how SPS can improve its social media strategy as a whole.

Thursday morning was an early one, as all the interns on my committee had a bagel breakfast with Frank Pallone, the Democratic ranking member of the committee. We had heard rumors of a specialty bagel shop that he frequents, but in the end they came from Bruegger’s. He talked about his experiences in politics and we got to ask him candid questions. He has long been a champion of health care reform and science as part of that, so it was really cool to meet him!

From there, we went to see a lecture by Steve Forbes, the CEO of Forbes Media Group. While I do not see eye to eye with him in regards to his economic policy, it was an interesting experience nonetheless. However, I’m not sure that I agree with his idea to bring back the Gold Standard.  I finally finished my project, and submitted it to our Chief Counsel for review! Not since finals have I been that relieved to be done with something. That night, I met up with some friends from school for a birthday dinner. Friday was a slow end to the week in terms of work, but I met with former AAAS fellows, who talked to me about their experience in science policy. 

Elias Kim