Snapshots from invigorating discussion “Funding R&D to enhance economic development”.

Media coverage in The Daily Targum


Science policy combined

Rutgers Dept. of Neuroscience & Cell Biology Emmanuel DiCicco-Bloom MD, Princeton Plasma Physics Labs Andrew Zwicker PhD, Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Mercer), Centre for Advanced Biotechnology & Medicine Ann Stock PhD, Association for Women in Science, NJ President Kamana Misra PhD, Human Ecology at Rutgers University Daniel Van Abs PhD, Environmental Analysis and Communications Group Rutgers Jeanne Herb and InnoPharma Navneet Puri PhD.



AWIS-NJ Science & Policy Panel 101

Science Policy 101
An event designed for science professionals. Understand how and why your participation is essential for shaping good science policy decisions. Science policy is a category of policymaking focusing on policies affecting the conduct of the science and research enterprise, including the funding of science. It also refers to the act of applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of public policies. 
Rush D. Holt, PhD., chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a 16 year member of the US House of Representatives says  “The scientific community must play a role in advocating for policies that remove barriers and connect scientists. Fortunately, many in the scientific community are already working together to do just that.”
Use registration link to get additional information about the panelists.

Who is representing you, the STEM professionals in Politics?

Kamana Misra, PhD, President Association for Women in Science, NJ

Should this be a wake up call for scientists? How many of us know, or care about our reZwicker titlepresentation in the Congress? Some disturbing statistics from the 113th Congress1:

  • Congressmen with science background, ~7%
  • Doctors with MD degrees, ~4%
  • Engineers, ~1%
  • PhD degree holders, <1%, (~0.5%)

So who is actually representing us? For Senators lawyers top the list followed by public service/politics and business people. For Representatives business professionals are the majority followed by public service/politics and lawyers.

Certainly, they are very capable and able representatives, but can they really understand the pain of downsizing a functional lab due to a funding crunch? The pain of terminating groundbreaking research projects due to lack of research staff? And worst, the pain of terminating employment of scientists, who have been taught to believe that they are the best of the breed?

Here in New Jersey, our representation is even worst in the two legislative bodies, the State Senate and Assembly. Amongst these lawmakers ultimately responsible for guiding New Jersey out of our economic downturn, we have a single MD doctor representing us. We all know that the states that invest in STEM are strong states. According to the Research & Development Council of New Jersey, 14 of the world’s top 20 biopharmaceutical companies are in NJ and we have the world’s highest concentration of scientific professionals2. By 2018, New Jersey needs to fill over 269,000 jobs in STEM. It seems to be a logical conclusion: We need to increase the representation of STEM professionals and scientists in the New Jersey Assembly.

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