Science Policy and Communication with Bill and Emma Dauster

In a first father-daughter interview on the podcast, Bill and Emma Dauster discuss important science communication and policy issues, including:

– Approaches that Bill, a longtime public policy expert, has found scientists employ that are particularly effective in getting their message across to politicians and common missteps to avoid

– Notable differences between persuading a scientific advisor compared to a politician that a research project is important and/or deserving of funding

– How Emma’s science background as a PhD student in Neuroscience and Behavior informs her views on politics

– When Bill was working in the Senate and the White House, which qualities and skills did effective scientist-staffers he supervised or worked with seem to possess

– The best entry points for scientists who want to get into the policy arena, including at the local, state, or federal level and  Legislative Branch compared to Executive Branch

– The importance of diversity in research 

– Scientists are trained to “follow the data”, but public policies are shaped by, and embedded with, political considerations like the “equity” of a proposal, not just how efficient it may be, or the power of certain group in society to bend a policy to its benefit, for example. How these factors can challenge scientists interested in policymaking, as it’s not just “all about the data”

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