Congress may still be out of town on its August recess (aka: campaigning), but the new class of AAAS Congressional Fellows, including BPS’s own Stephanie DeLuca, are in Washington and ready to get to work. Today is the first day of orientation for the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship Program, which includes an intense two week orientation on congressional and executive branch operations followed by a year-long seminar series on issues related to science policy. Once the orientation is complete, DeLuca will spend a year working in a Congressional office on legislative and policy areas requiring scientific input.
It is important to note that while DeLuca is serving as the BPS Congressional Fellow, she is an independent agent during the fellowship year. This is extremely important in keeping the divide between politics/government and special interest groups. She is free to choose a placement that she desires, and works for that elected official for the term of her fellowship.
The Society’s leadership decided to offer the fellowship in 2015 in recognition that public policy increasingly impacts scientific research, and basic science literacy is increasingly needed to develop responsible policy. There are over 30 fellows participating in the program sponsored by AAAS as well as other professional societies. Together, they provide important expertise across Capitol Hill. Once the fellowship is over, some fellows return to research, while others continue working in science policy. Regardless of the choice each fellow makes, the Society’s leaders are confident that the relationships forged between scientists and policymakers will continue.
DeLuca received her PhD in Chemical and Physical Biology from Vanderbilt University and has served as the Science Policy Fellow at the American Chemical Society (ACS) since September 2014. As for this next step in her career, she is excited about, “working in a fast-paced, high-stakes environment, where the work I do could have a real impact on people.”
If this peaks your interest, be sure to consider applying to be the next BPS Congressional Fellow. Applications are due December 15, 2016.