Embargoed for release: Monday, August 23, 8:30 a.m., Eastern Time
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With laws, government regulations, and funding priorities continuing to exert a broad impact on science, a group of graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is holding a special symposium Aug. 23 during the American Chemical Society (ACS) 240th National Meeting and Exhibition here to familiarize future scientists with the unfamiliar realm of public policy.
“Public policy is the course of action that government agencies take in regard to a particular issue or set of issues,” explained Kathryn L. Beers, Ph.D. She is a chemist who directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Combinatorial Methods Center. “Society is facing a wide range of very difficult public policy issues today, from global climate change to global security. It is vitally important to have scientists involved in the decisions the shape policy on these issues. One goal of this symposium is to equip young scientists with the knowledge and tools to become effective participants in the great debates surrounding such issues.”
Beers discussed A Chemist in Public Service: From a Government Lab to the Executive Office and Back at the symposium entitled Chemistry and Policy: Solving Problems at the Interface held at the Boston Convention Center. Other members of the panel and their topics are: George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Chemistry, William Rees, Ph.D., principal associate director for Global Security, Los Alamos National Laboratory, LANL Contributions to Chemical Research, Public Policy and National Defense and Jay D. Keasling, Ph.D., Hubbard Howe Jr. Distinguished Professor of Biochemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Engineering Microbial Metabolism for Production of the Anti-Malarial Drug Artemisinin.