Science to Policy (S2P) at the University of California, Riverside, is founded on the idea that scientists can and should play a critical role in public policy. By hosting and supporting a number of professional development opportunities on and off campus, S2P's vision is to empower UCR STEM graduate students to participate in science policy by providing a suite of experiential opportunities to learn from public policy experts.
Participating graduate students engage with practitioners at the highest level to understand local, state, and federal policymaking; to strategize the value of scientific input in policymaking; and to garner professional development critical to careers in public policy.
UCR Science News
News from S2P
Our 2021 Science Policy Certificate Class has commenced!
January 8, 2021: Our 2021 Science Policy Certificate Class has commenced! Thank you to Congressman Mark Takano for speaking at our first meeting to discuss the role science and technology plays in policy, your work to restore the Office of Technology Assessment, and forensic algorithms!
Science to Policy won 3rd place in the UCR Board of Trustees Challenge for Giving Tuesday!
Dec 11, 2020: For our first year participating in UCR's Giving Tuesday, we had 209 donors give gifts and raise $7,815 thanks to your generous donations! We also received 3rd place in number of unique donors, where we won an additional $6,600 from the UCR Board of Trustees, bringing our total to $14,415!!! Thank you all for your support. These gifts will help us fund student policy fellowships in legislative offices, expand our certificate program, and organize events!
Watch our students pitch policy ideas to elected officials from our Science Policy Slam event!
Nov 6, 2020: If you missed our Science Policy Slam event in collaboration with UCR's Palm Desert Center, check out the event on YouTube! Our students pitched ideas on solar panels for agriculture, produce stickers, helium reserves, and more! Give it a watch!
Two student cabinet members were interviewed for SciComm @ UCR's Beyond the Bench podcast!
Oct 24, 2020: Our student cabinet co-chair, Stephanie Piper, and content creation chair, Morgan Dundon, were recently interviewed for Scicomm @ UCR's podcast Beyond the Bench! They discuss the importance of science policy and communication and how you can get involved! Give it a listen!
Our cabinet members have published two policy memos in the latest issues of JSPG!
Oct 12, 2020: Student cabinet members William Ota, Agnes Varghese, Danielle Delany, and Morgan Dundon have recently published policy memos on environmental DNA and school shootings in the Journal of Science Policy & Governance! Check them out on our publications page!
The S2P Policy Hackathon was featured in the CHASS newsletter!
Oct 2, 2020: Our Policy Hackathon event was featured in the CHASS newsletter! A team of our graduate students researched the topic of school shootings during the event and submitted their findings to the Journal of Science Policy & Governance! Read it here.
How do you have "the talk" about leaving academia with your advisor?
July 23, 2020: One of our recent certificate program graduates wrote a great article giving doctoral students tips on how to tell your advisor you plan to leave academia. The moral, support is a more common result than graduate students might think! Read it here.
UCR S2P was featured in a great article in Inside Higher Ed!
July 22, 2020: In a great new article by Jennifer Pearl and Ali Nouri titled "The Crucial Need for Public Service Scientists", they argue that there as never been a more important time for science PhDs and experts to be involved in policy. We are honored tp be featured as a university-based initiative alongside the National Science Policy Network! Read the article here.
Our second certificate class has graduated!
June 11, 2020: While the online version of the certificate class was certainly a new adventure, we are so excited that our second certificate class has graduated! We had a wonderfully diverse group from anthropologists to engineers, all who are now great translators to policy! Check out the cohort and their bumper sticker slogans by clicking here.
UCR Science to Policy wins UC Center Sacramento STEM Solutions!
February 26, 2020: We are thrilled to announce that multiple members of our student cabinet and committees have won commendations from the STEM Solutions competition! This asks for graduate students proposals for bills for the state legislature. William Ota and Kavya Samudrala won the award for their proposal for a state helium reserve, and Lindsey Pedroncelli and Holly Andrews won special commendations for their proposal to improve produce stickers for California's large agriculture system. Read more about the program and past winners by clicking here!
Another year, another student representing us at the CCST Science Translator showcase!
February 6, 2020: Our student cabinet chair William Ota participated in in the California Council for Science and Technology's science translator showcase in Sacramento, CA! He met with Senator Richard Roth do discuss data-driven policy solutions for the state of California. This event gathered multiple graduate students in the sciences and gave them the great opportunity to interact face to face with lawmakers. Thanks for representing Riverside, Will@
New Publication in JSPG!
November 11, 2019: A few of our cabinet members and colleagues had their policy memo published in the Journal of Science Policy and Governance! Click here to read their memo "The Effects of Drought on Plant Pathology" and the other great articles in this issue!
Cabinet Members Attend NSPN Annual Symposium!
November 1-3, 2019: Four of our cabinet members, William Ota, Danielle Delany, Derreck Carter-House, and Stephanie Piper, attended the National Science Policy Network Annual symposium in Madison, Wisconsin! They led an interactive workshop to share event guides with other science policy groups around the country, and will publish those event guides jointly with NSPN. They also were able to reconnect with one of our founders: Holly Mayton!
Inaugural Cohort Completes S2P Certificate Program
April 2, 2019: S2P congratulates the 2019 cohort for successful completion of the Science to Policy Certificate Program! Certificate recipients were treated to a ceremony in which they shared their experiences with invited guests and received accolades from certificate advisers Dr. Susan Hackwood and Mr. Doug Brown as well as representatives from the office of Assemblymember Jose Medina. We look forward to seeing all of you making positive change to science policy in the near future!
S2P Teaches the Water Cycle
March 11, 2019: Student cabinet member Parisa Parsifar, along with other members of her NSF IGERT fellowship cohort, developed and produced an educational YouTube video about the water cycle and why we should be thinking about the ways in which we use (and abuse) water. The video was an exercise aimed at communicating to children the importance of water in our lives. In coming months, the short film will be entered into a science communication competition hosted by the American Chemical Society. Good work and good luck, Parisa and IGERT team!
S2P Competes For STEM Solutions
February 25, 2019: Student cabinet member William Ota represented S2P in the UCCS STEM Solutions in Public Policy Award Competition, a competition aimed at matching promising proposed policies in STEM fields to state legislators that will back them. His proposal, which targeted the creation of a pilot program for monitoring environmental DNA (eDNA), was one of a small number that advanced to the second round of the competition. Although it was not ultimately recommended for further consideration by a legislative office, Ota received Special Commendation for submission of a strong proposal that intrigued staffers and showed potential for economically-friendly conservation practices. Kudos, William!
S2P Students Start the Conversation at AAAS 2019 Annual Meeting
February 14-17, 2019: Six S2P students attended AAAS's 2019 Annual Meeting to promote the Science to Policy Program and other science communication and policy initiatives going on in and around UCR. Four students presented posters throughout the weekend, and the group practiced their informal science communication skills by hosting EurekAlert, a happy hour event at AAAS for science writers (click here for our so-real-it-hurts host speech). S2P received enthusiastic attention at our vendor booth, with many inquiries about our certificate and workshop programming. We also received praise from EurekAlert attendees, who emphasized the need for effective science communication in an increasingly jargon-heavy society. With so much positive feedback, S2P will definitely be making an appearance at next year's meeting!
S2P Students Make a Splash at CCST's Science Translators Showcase
February 6, 2019: Two S2P student cabinet members, Derreck Carter-House and Ben Sommerkorn, participated in CCST's Science Translators Showcase in Sacramento, CA. This showcase, organized in partnership with State Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), gathered 12 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from universities across California to discuss their research with decision makers in an informal mixer-style setting. The event received much positive feedback from all who attended. Way to represent S2P, Derreck and Ben!
S2P Meets Assemblymember Jose Medina
January 24, 2019: S2P, in partnership with UCR School of Public Policy, invited Assemblymember Jose Medina to UCR for a networking mixer. Medina is Assemblymember for California's 61st District (Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, and Mead Valley) and is beginning his third term in this position. Medina is also chair of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, making him a key contact for graduate students in S2P interested in educational policy. He and students discussed a variety of topics from the policy process, incorporating science into policy, international collaborations, and political engagement. We look forward to future meetings with Mr. Medina and our other elected officials at UCR!
A Career Discussion with Nobel Laureates
January 9, 2019: UCR was visited by two Nobel laureates, Dr. Barry Barish of Caltech and Dr. Richard Schrock of MIT. Barish was a member of the team awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), a network which recorded some of the first observations of gravitational waves and disproved some of Einstein’s theories about gravity. Schrock, who received his PhD at UCR, was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of olefin metathesis, a chemical reaction which has improved efficiency and environmental sustainability in fields such as medicine and fuel. S2P students had the opportunity to sit down with these two renowned scientists and discuss their careers to success, their research, and their influences on public policy. Watch the discussion here!