OUR MISSION

The Penn Science Diplomacy group is a student organization formed to address the absence of global policy training, international conflict resolution training, and international collaboration in graduate-level science education.  We aim to promote the participation of graduate trainees and scientists in science diplomacy.

Science diplomacy encompasses a variety of international, scientific, and policy issues.  Diplomacy for science, science in diplomacy, and science for diplomacy are the three main pillars. Our group focuses on science for diplomacy: using scientific collaboration to promote multilateral cooperation between nations, and science in diplomacy: prompting evidence-based policy making.

We utilize our scientific knowledge base to collaborate with higher education institutions abroad, diplomats, and policy makers to promote evidence based policy making, the advancement of science education, and technology transfer.

As graduate trainees we are uniquely positioned to address this need by enhancing the participation of current Penn students in diplomacy and creating a lasting structure for science diplomacy in our education.

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Enrique Lin Shiao

Founder and Chair

Enrique Lin Shiao is a Costa Rican PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. His interest in science diplomacy lies in using science to build bridges across different cultures and nations, promote the development of low-income countries and advance evidence-based policy-making.

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Liana vAccari

Vice Chair

Liana is a Ph.D. candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering studying the behavior of bacteria when attached to oil-water interfaces. Liana is keenly interested in environmental issues, which, as a problem with global causes and repercussions, requires science diplomacy and multilateral cooperation.

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Ryan MAyers

Head of Operations

Ryan Mayers is a current senior in the undergraduate Neurobiology program, where he currently conducts research as part of Dr. Nick Betley’s lab. At PSDG Ryan is interested in exploring the role and shape of international collaborations in science, in influencing relations between countries and improving research communities worldwide.

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Martin Iwanicki

Webmaster

Martin Iwanicki is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics. His main interests at PSDG are learning how science can foster and enrich international relations between different nations and exploring how science can be used as a tool to promote development and welfare worldwide.

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SHaron Kim

Secretary

Sharon Kim is an undergraduate senior studying Biological Basis of Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania. Sharon is interested in how international relations can be improved through medical and scientific collaborations.

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Jonathan Rumley

Treasurer

Jonathan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology program, with a focus on Genetics and Gene Regulation.  He joined the Penn Science Diplomacy group because of his interest in fostering relationships between scientists and policy makers in different parts of the world.  

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Matthew Moronta

Head of Communications

Matthew is in his final year as an undergraduate majoring in biology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently completing his senior thesis on sperm motility with the Center for Research on Reproduction and Women’s Health. He became interested in science diplomacy after interning with the International Rescue Committee under their health team, where he discovered how impactful diplomatic relations are on population health. Matthew is highly interested in how science diplomacy serves to influence global health systems.

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BENJAMIN SCHMITT

Director of Alumni Engagement

Benjamin L. Schmitt is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow, he obtained his PhD in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania focusing on experimental cosmology research.  Schmitt serves as the 2015-16 IEEE-USA U.S. Department of State Fellow where he acts as science and technology policy advisor for energy security and resource management across the European and Eurasian region within the Energy Diplomacy Pillar of the Bureau of Energy Resources at the U.S. Department of State.

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