New Course on Science Policy Receives Development Award
The Cornell Center for Engaged Learning and Research has named Prof. Chris Schaffer and post-doctoral scholar Dr. Catharine Clark as inaugural Engaged Learning + Research Faculty Fellows. As Fellows, Prof. Schaffer and Dr. Clark will receive support and advice in the development of their new course on science policy.
This senior level course, Science Policy Bootcamp: From Concept to Conclusion, will be offered for the first time in Fall 2013 to students training in engineering as well as the physical and biological sciences. The course aims to show students the myriad opportunities and desperate need for scientists to participate in public policy making.
In order to provide a broad foundation in problems at the intersection of science and public policy, about a third of the effort in the course will consist of traditional-style lectures, readings, and discussions. Unique to this course, the remaining two-thirds of the effort will be spent on real, community-engaged public policy projects, and it is this portion of the course that the Center for Engaged Learning and Research will help Prof. Schaffer and Dr. Clark refine.
The plan is to have small student teams identify a key science policy issue, research it deeply and contact key stakeholders, formulate a long-term plan and identify critical short-term steps to take, and then draft the materials necessary to advance their science policy issue: briefing memos, legislation, speeches, op-ed articles, press materials, legal positions, comments on rule making, and public outreach materials. After careful refinement of all aspects of the plan, students will implement their strategy and try to truly change public policy on their issue.
This unique course will help to train a generation of scientists who are both passionate about and effective in engaging policy makers to solve some of our biggest problems including energy, climate change, health care, and education.