Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon and Bruce Alberts, the chancellor’s leadership chair for science and education in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, co-wrote an editorial on “Science for State Legislatures” published this week in Science. In it, they make the case that state Science and Technology (S&T) Policy Fellowship programs, such as the nearly decade-old program in California’s state legislature (on whose advisory committee both serve), are a critical bridge between the scientific community and the government. Among other contributions, fellows help policymakers understand “science as a second language.” California’s program is itself modeled on the national American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) S&T Policy Fellowship Program, which over 45 years has enabled thousands of PhD scientists, engineers, and physicians to work for a year for the U.S. government. Alberts and Maxon believe that “the establishment of S&T fellowship programs in other states could greatly increase evidence-based policy-making and not only benefit state policy-makers but also help to inform national policy-making and society as a whole.”
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