The fellows in the Interfaces of Global Change IGEP met today with Dr. Jimmy O’Dea, a 2014-15 AAAS Science & Engineering Congressional Fellow for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, and Dr. Julia Mundy, an AAAS fellow in the U.S. Department of Education.

The group met at the Fralin Life Science Institute to discuss how to effectively communicate science in order to impact policy, and how to increase awareness of global change research.

Jennifer Wagner, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Fish and
Wildlife Conservation and an IGC Fellow, listed a few “take home messages” that came out of this informative roundtable discussion:

  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your science and communicate interesting findings from your research. There is a real need to engage early and often with the public and policy makers.
  • Finding innovative and effective ways to communicate with a wider audience will have huge ramifications in the future. We need to push ourselves to be better science communicators in all formats, even though we often feel overloaded with actually “doing science”.
  • There are many paths that Ph.D’s can take after academia. If we want to explore other options and be part of the policy discussion, there are avenues available for us that include these goals.