October off to a great start!

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October off to a great start!

Our most recent meeting featured a great talk from Sara Kinslow M.Sc., a Penn alum and currently a physical scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sara talked about her path to government, her own work, and the vital role of the EPA in our society. Anyone who is interested in pursuing a scientific career within the government should contact us, and we will happily put you in touch with Sara!

On Thursday, October 8th, several of our members will be meeting the Ambassadors to the U.S. of the Baltic countries, right here in Philadelphia! We are working with the Lithuanian Embassy on a Suicide Prevention project, and are extremely excited to facilitate this project at such a high level!

Other projects are also well underway and we’ll be getting updates on those at our next meeting. Additionally, stay tuned for more info on the rest of our fall speaker series, including a visit from Cathy Campbell, the president and CEO of CRDF global, on October 16th from 12-2pm! The event will be co-sponsored by Penn Graduate Women in Science and Engineering and Dr. Campbell will be discussing the role of scientists in international diplomacy and the role of female scientists as leaders in their fields. We’ll also be co-sponsoring some events with the Fels Institute of Government, with details coming soon.

Hope to see you at the next meeting!

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Thanks Team Schoogle!

We had another great meeting last week! After a quick update from project leaders, we heard from last year’s winners of the Penn Public Policy Challenge and national runners-up: Team Schoogle. After last year’s big success they are on the verge of making their vision a reality. So thanks to Nate and Kees for taking the time to talk to us!

Will PSDG enter a team this year? It’s too soon to know, but we’re certainly thinking about it!. That means anyone who has a great idea should come to our next meeting and tell us all about it! We have plenty of committed, enthusiastic members ready to push it forward.

For more info the Penn Public Policy Challenge and last year’s winners click here. As always, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news. 

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First case study is in the books!

Our latest meeting was a huge hit! We had a great turnout, including two new members who will be joining our ISGP collaboration project.

Last night we conducted our first science diplomacy case study, in which our members discussed and considered the critical role of scientists in negotiating the recent multilateral agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. We’ll be doing more of these throughout the year and are always open to ideas for topics!

Join us on September 2nd to hear from our next round of guest speakers. The winners of last year’s Penn Science Policy Competition, Team Schoogle, will be talking to us about their policy project and the competition itself.

We hope to see you next week and as always, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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Projects have begun!

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Projects have begun!

Our meeting last night was a huge success. Our members split off into their project groups and everyone is off to a great start! The four projects discussed last night cover a wide range of topics and interests:

  • Cuba Exchange Project – This group is planning to develop an exchange program between Cuban and American medical students. It is an exciting time for Cuba-U.S. science diplomacy because of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This group is hoping to help Penn promote this new diplomatic relationship.
  • Science Diplomacy Consulting –Members of this group will work as science consultants for a foreign consulate, and gain valuable experience while using their scientific expertise to directly inform evidence-based policy. 
  • Institute on Science for Global Policy – ISGP is a non-profit organization founded by former science advisor to the Secretary of State: Dr. George Atkinson. Members of this group will be collaborating with ISGP by volunteering at and participating in policy conferences. This is a great opportunity for our members to learn how policy makers use scientific information to inform their decision-making, and to connect with policy makers. To learn more about ISGP click here.
  • Central America Policy Evaluation – This group will systematically evaluate different strategies to combat health problems in individual Central American countries, and provide an evaluation of the most effective policies in the region. This evaluation can be used by nations in Central America to direct resources into the most effective programs.

Our next meeting is in two weeks – details to come – and we are always open to new faces. Check back here, or follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss anything!

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Introducing ourselves!

If you made it to our blog, you may know that PSDG is a brand new group here at Penn! We have some exciting projects planned for this year, and we are excited to continue our expansion as an organization. Feel free to browse our site, learn about our officers, and view the details about our upcoming projects.

At our most recent meeting our alumni chair/physics and astronomy Ph.D. student Benjamin Schmitt gave a great talk about his experiences applying for policy fellowships. Ben will be graduating with his Ph.D., and starting his tenure as an IEEE U.S. Department of State Fellow. He will spend his fellowship as a science policy and technical advisor, with a focus on energy policy and security.

If you are interested in learning more about IEEE click here or AAAS Fellowships click here.

 

 

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