Science and policy in Boston

Graduate students in EMPOWER attended the 183rd Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston in mid-February. This year’s conference theme was “Serving Society Through Science Policy” and offered a packed schedule of workshops, exhibits, panels, and career development opportunities. During the 5-day event, EMPOWER students attended scientific sessions ranging from “Accelerating Low-Carbon Innovation Through Policy” to “Supporting Silly-Sounding Science,” learned about best practices for career planning, attended a new members reception, and enjoyed “Family Science Days” in the exhibit hall.

Attending this conference was a unique opportunity for students who may usually participate in discipline-specific conferences. JR Slosson, an MS student in Earth Sciences, said “I really enjoyed learning about the importance of our role as scientists in broader legal and economic spheres and how critical it is for scientists to work across disciplines towards the creation of informed public policy.” Yige Yang, a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering, has research interests in green roofs. Her favorite session at the conference focused on sustainable cities in Europe, which challenged her to “start thinking the transportation system in the future” and inspired her to explore these ideas further with urban planning professors on campus.

EMPOWER graduate students Sara Alesi, Megan Daley, Caitlin Eger, JR Slosson, Alexa Stathis, and Yige Yang attended the AAAS Annual Meeting. Attendance at the conference was supported by an EMPOWER Professional Development Training Mini-Grant.

More information about the Seed Grant Program can be found in the “Training” section of the EMPOWER website.