Wednesday, November 17, 2010
In case I wasn't already considering enough career options, I have decided to throw another one in the pile... science policy!
I was recently informed (by someone in science policy) that it is SO not what I thought it was. When I heard the phrase "science policy," I had always imagined people with science degrees that were pushing to have particular laws changed and having strong partisan affiliations and possibly screaming SAVE THE WHALES. But in a professional way. It turns out that "science policy" is acting as a liaison between the scientists with their data and their public unfriendly p-values, and the politicians that don't understand the data and the p-values. You become a science translator for government officials. That sounds... kind of awesome. (Assuming that I've understood correctly... it's possible that I now have a totally NEW incorrect perception of science policy.)
There are a few things that I know that I'm good at and know that I'm interested in; the difficult part in deciding on a career path is what is best suited to those talents and interests. I, having no real-world job experience and a sub-human level of foresight, find this challenging. But I know I can teach, which is largely tied to my ability to communicate information effectively. Given a little expertise and time, I can distill the important bits of information out of a mess. I know I'm interested in how to communicate effectively and how those methods change with our culture. I'm interested in increasing the general public's awareness and understanding of natural sciences.
So does science policy belong in my pile?
#and for your daily dose of hilarity, I present to you: