We aim to provide resources to policymakers in state and local government positions in order add science to the decision-making process. Elected officials consider several priorities, often competing, when creating policies and voting, but scientific evidence is not always part of that process. While we are still working to fully develop our program, the following are ways that bring science and technology research to the conversation.
MOST policy fellows will provide much needed resources for the Missouri General Assembly. Fellows will assist in scientific, rather than legal, research before bills are written, and also help to inform senators and representatives on benefits and consequences of pending statutes and regulations. Outside of the short legislative session, fellows will assist with building evidence-based research capacity and training workshops for legislators and staff, giving them confidence to address issues about which they feel passionate and better address the needs of their constituents.
Several state general assemblies in the Midwest, including Missouri’s, meet from January to May each spring, with bills pre-filed starting in December. While the legislators are actively filing, debating, and voting on legislation, MOST Policy Initiative will be drafting short ‘science notes’ to describe the science behind policy issues.
Lawmakers are often interested in innovative research findings that may help to solve pressing state issues. To fulfill these requests, we host briefings on relevant and interesting scientific topics, such as biotechnology, flood infrastructure, and rural healthcare, at the statehouse throughout the legislative session and over the summer.
Every election, Missouri voters have the opportunity to make changes to Missouri’s constitution through ballot initiatives. Initiatives may be added to the ballot through a petition process or by the Missouri General Assembly. When ballot initiatives are related to pressing science and technology issues, MOST Policy Initiative publishes science notes on the topic to help inform voters.