Jefferson City, MO – Missouri legislators are busy wrestling with important matters for the state, and Missouri Science & Technology (MOST) Policy Initiative has come up with a way to improve the flow of unbiased scientific information to decision-makers. MOST Policy Initiative is now accepting applications for the inaugural class of MOST Policy Fellows to address this need.
Scientifically-trained fellows will inform legislators and the general public about science and technology associated with proposed policy, in order to promote long-term health, sustainability, and economic growth for Missouri communities. Fellows will be assigned to suites of committees in the Missouri General Assembly covering the following topics:
- Life Sciences, Agriculture, and Conservation
- Education and Workforce
- Healthcare and Wellness
- Technology and Engineering
- Economics and Finance
Fellows must hold a terminal degree (Ph.D. or equivalent highest-level degree for a field, such as an M.D.) in science, technology, engineering, math, medicine, or related discipline (i.e., STEMM education, nursing, etc.) upon beginning the fellowship program in September 2020. Fellows will commit to a one-year fellowship term and will be encouraged to renew their fellowship for an additional one-year term. Fellowship applications opened on February 1, 2020 and must be submitted by March 15, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT.
The initial class of MOST Policy Fellows is supported by grants and contributions from the James S. McDonnell Foundation (St. Louis, MO), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Palo Alto, CA), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Redwood City, CA), and the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO). The MOST Policy Fellows Advisory Board will serve as the Fellow Selection Committee.
The MOST Policy Fellows program will form a public-private partnership between the Missouri General Assembly, higher education institutions in our state, private foundations, the citizens of Missouri, and other interested groups seeking to advance science and technology. The benefits of this fellowship program are numerous, including, but not limited to advancing Missouri’s standing as a leading state in research and development, agricultural and environmental management, and health care; as well as stewarding an informed citizenry. For more information or to apply, please visit https://mostpolicyinitiative.org/fellows/apply-for-fellowships/.
MOST Policy Initiative today launches the Missouri Local Science Engagement Network, a grassroots science engagement and advocacy program aimed at elevating the role of science and the science community in civic and policy decision-making in Missouri.
The Missouri Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) is a program of MOST Policy Initiative, in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Missouri LSEN will recruit and empower cohorts of local science advocates; provide training and guidance in science communication, civic engagement and effective advocacy; engage with local decision-makers on how science can inform the deliberative process; and develop evidence-based and locally-relevant content to help facilitate these engagements.
Missouri LSEN will channel the commitment of an energized community to build a lasting engagement infrastructure that quickly identifies, connects with, and “plugs in” scientific experts to conversations about challenging science issues such as climate change and its local implications. The LSEN program represents a commitment from AAAS to invest resources and build capacity to establish lasting networks of local science organizations and leaders, elevating their advocacy skills in local and state science policy discussions.
“In order to help leaders and elected officials use science when making decisions, we must not only be able to communicate our science responsibly, but we must also know when, where, and to whom we communicate,” said Rachel Owen, director of the MOST Policy Initiative. “Through the Local Science Engagement Network, we are thrilled to facilitate trusted relationships between scientists and decision-makers across the state of Missouri that will help us identify opportunities to more effectively include science in policy discussions.”
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is launching the LSEN as a pilot program. This engagement and advocacy program seeks to establish, nurture and guide local and state-based multidisciplinary peer networks of scientists and science advocates dedicated to elevating the role of science in public policy. The goal of LSEN is to help science advocates identify opportunities to engage civic and policy leaders in the role and use of evidence-based perspectives as communities seek locally relevant climate solutions.
“Facts alone cannot help us make informed decisions,” said Dan Barry, director of LSEN at AAAS. “Because people need science, and science needs people, the Missouri LSEN will help decision-makers connect with science and scientists who can help inform their thinking about critical social and policy issues.”
Interested participants and supporters can find more information at http://mostpolicyinitiative.org.
About MOST Policy Initiative
MOST Policy Initiative is a nonprofit organization, based at the University of Missouri, aimed at bringing scientists and policymakers together to improve livelihoods for people and communities in the Midwest. MOST Policy Initiative works side-by-side with elected officials to incorporate more scientific information into state and local policy decisions, provides resources and training for scientists interested in interacting with the policy-making process, and engages with the broader community on issues related to science and technology.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more.
Columbia, MO – The Missouri Science and Technology Policy Fellows (MOST) program, housed within the Graduate School at the University of Missouri, is excited to announce an award of $558,000 from the James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF) of St. Louis, Missouri. Funds will contribute to completing the development stage of the policy fellowship program and help to launch the initial fellowship class in Jefferson City. JSMF has offered these funds as a challenge grant – two of the five initial fellows will be funded by JSMF pending funding is raised for the three additional fellows, thus, MOST is actively seeking partners to fully launch the fellowship class in the Fall of 2020.
MOST Policy Initiative seeks to establish a post-doctoral Science and Technology Policy Fellowship to assist with evidence-based policy decisions in the State of Missouri. Scientifically-trained fellows will inform legislators and the general public of potential outcomes associated with proposed policy, in order to promote long-term health, sustainability, and economic growth for Missouri communities. Forty-one members of the Missouri General Assembly have signed a letter supporting the establishment of this fellowship program. The complete list can be found at http://mostpolicyfellows.org/supporters.
With support from the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the University of Missouri Graduate School, Rachel Owen has been named the director of MOST Policy Initiative. Owen co-founded MOST alongside Hallie Thompson and Mike Hendricks in 2016 and has served as a co-director with Hendricks for the past two years while completing a doctoral degree in Natural Resources. As MOST Policy Initiative Director, Owen will play a vital role in the long-term success and sustainability of the fellows program. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations of the fellows and facilitating the application process and training, she will be responsible for fundraising, partnership building, and public outreach. Owen looks forward to maintaining both the long-term vision and day-to-day operations of MOST Policy Initiative, and allowing Missouri to serve as a nationwide bellwether at the intersection of science and policy-making. The MOST Policy Fellowship program will form a public-private partnership between the Missouri General Assembly, higher education institutions in our state, private foundations, the citizens of Missouri, and other interested groups seeking to advance science and technology. The benefits of this fellowship program are numerous, including, but not limited to advancing Missouri’s standing as a leading state in research and development, agricultural and environmental management, and health care; as well as stewarding an informed citizenry. For more information, please visit http://mostpolicyfellows.org.