Successful Wintersession Course

This past week, a few fellow graduate students and I led a course on science policy and science communication. We concluded our course with a panel of faculty experts in academia and advocacy.

One of the materials I created for the class was a worksheet that led students through effective policy communications. This morning, we received the following feedback via email:

“During high school, I was part of my Congresswoman’s Youth Advisory Group and often wrote her letters to ask for her support in different health-related bills. I always had trouble organizing my ideas, and I think the format of the worksheet made it much easier for me to write a letter last night. Instead of focusing on the letter as a whole, I was able to think of each section […] separately. 

“I sent my letter to my representative last night, and I received a response this morning. […] I just wanted to let you know that your workshop truly encouraged me and gave me the skills I needed to contact my representative and advocate for change”.

I am over the moon with the feedback we have gotten so far and am deeply grateful to my co-facilitators and our panelists for the great workshop that we pulled together. I am glad that I was able to contribute to campus life here at Princeton. I am also happy to have driven home the importance of advocacy work as an extension of science. The purpose of STEM studies should not be the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake; using science to advocate for change is what makes research so critically important.

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