Working towards a better future for science in Ohio and beyond!
Science and Technology Policy Fellowship
State legislators increasingly encounter policy issues that require scientific and technical knowledge. Legislation is needed to address increasingly complex scientific problems in our society, yet there are few legislative aides and staffers with the scientific and technical training needed break these problems down for legislators to make informed decisions about what policies to implement. While meeting with legislators, we discussed the transferability of skills learned during scientific training. To address these deficiencies, we proposed starting a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in Ohio. California implemented its own program as the California Council on Science and Technology in 1988, including a Science and Technology Policy Fellowship to provide a path for scientists into a career in policy analysis and implementation. The Ohio State government already has in place the Legislative Service Commission Fellowship, though it is more targeted towards recently graduated undergraduates with political science degrees. In the past 10 years of the program, there have only been three fellows with a STEM degree. Since there is already the infrastructure for a Policy Fellowship, we are confident that Ohio can implement its own Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with minimal startup costs, and develop its leadership in research and innovation to keep up with the increasing demand to apply scientific principles to the complex problems facing Ohio.
Paid Family Medical Leave
Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers navigate gruelling hours in the lab while starting their lives and families. In 2018, 23% of new fathers and 43% of new mothers had left full-time STEM employment for other types of work or had left the labor force entirely . The loss of highly skilled researchers due to inadequate family leave is a detriment to the state of Ohio and its economic future. When we met with legislators, we advocated for the enactment of House Bill 91, which has been introduced to establish an opt-in family and medical leave insurance program.