Biosciences ALD Mary Maxon served on a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee that released a consensus study report entitled “Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century” at a May 29 event in Washington, DC. Building on the strengths of the current graduate enterprise, the report describes the attributes of an ideal STEM graduate education system, identifies core educational competencies that are common across all STEM fields, and recommends changes in the graduate education enterprise to make the system more student-centric and better prepare students for the careers that lie ahead. The committee was chaired by Alan Leshner, chief executive officer emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Burroughs Welcome Fund, the Institute of Education Sciences, and the Spencer Foundation. Read more in the National Academies press release.
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon joined an international group of policy leaders, NGO, and industry representatives in Berlin last week to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with shifting from current industry practices to a sustainable bio-based economy. Maxon emphasized the importance of translating basic science to innovation by highlighting the Agile BioFoundry, a national laboratory-led consortium to advance biomanufacturing that is managed by Berkeley Lab.
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.”
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon testified on March 14 to the US House of Representatives committee with leaders from four other national laboratories on “National Laboratories: World-Leading Innovation in Science.” Maxon pointed to the flexibility and breadth of the national laboratories to respond to national mission needs, through national user facilities, scientific research expertise, and partnering with universities and industry. The full testimony can be found here. (Maxon’s testimony begins at 43:22 of the video.)
Several Berkeley Lab scientists will present talks at the 72nd annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, to be held February 15 through 19 in Austin, Texas. Among them are four representing the Biosciences Area: Mary Maxon, Blake Simmons, Trent Northen, and Susannah Tringe.