Writing Science Notes for Local and State Policymakers – a Hybrid Workshop
Policy writing comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, traditionally developed to serve a specific purpose. In Missouri, our lawmakers are accustomed to seeing fiscal notes attached to pending legislation and are also beginning to expect to see 'science notes' attached to upcoming bills to describe the relevant scientific background of that topic.
Science notes are 2-4 page memos that contain an executive summary, highlights and limitations, and a detailed overview of research and data related to a specific topic. MOST Policy Fellows write science notes at the request of lawmakers, but any scientist interested in a topic can write and submit community science notes on other policy-relevant topics.
In this workshop, we will discuss best practices for general policy writing and the background of 'science notes'. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to work in teams to begin drafting a science note and get live feedback from experts. Finally, participants will work with the MOST team to share their science notes broadly to Missouri policymakers.
For more information on science notes, visit https://mostpolicyinitiative.org/policy-initiatives/legislative-science-notes/
Adriana Bankston, Ph.D. (she/hers) - Adriana Bankston is a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California Office of Federal Governmental Relations in Washington, DC, where she serves as an advocate for the university with Congress, the Administration and federal agencies. Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at the Society for Neuroscience, where she provided staff support for special and on-going projects, including the society’s annual lobby event and the annual meeting. In addition to working at UC, Adriana is the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Publisher of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, an internationally recognized non-profit organization and peer-reviewed publication dedicated to empowering early career scientists, engineers, and policy professionals in international science policy debate. She is also a Biomedical Workforce & Policy Research Investigator at the STEM Advocacy Institute, as well as a member of the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Coalition Steering Committee. Adriana earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University.
Dr. Joshua Mueller, Ph.D. (he/his) – MOST Policy Initiative Legislative Fellow covering health and mental health policy. Josh completed his Ph.D. in Dynamical Neuroscience from the University of California, Santa Barbara in summer 2020. His dissertation work, completed in the Complex Systems Group under the supervision of Dr. Jean Carlson, characterizes the syntax of fruit fly grooming behavior. Josh earned a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied proteins responsible for the regulation of replication in Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.
Dr. Brittany Whitley, Ph.D. (she/hers) – MOST Policy Initiative Legislative Fellow covering education and workforce development in Missouri. Brittany earned her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington- Seattle. Prior to her dissertation research, she completed her B.S. in Neuroscience at Bucknell University and served for two years at the National Institutes for Health as a post-baccalaureate research fellow.
Dr. Rachel Owen, Ph.D. (she/hers) – MOST Policy Initiative Executive Director and co-founder. Rachel has worked to identify key decision points in the state legislative process and provide timely and relevant scientific information to policy-makers. Dr. Owen received her Ph.D. in the University of Missouri School of Natural Resources, researching the impact of a changing climate on wetland ecosystems and landowner perceptions of climate and agricultural threats in the Great Plains.