Science Outside the Lab in Our Nation’s Capital

I arrived at Northwestern with a passion for women’s health research, along with a vision for increasing scientific literacy, improving upon science communication, and engaging more women in science. Over the past few years, my vision has become more focused. I hope to work at both a local and national level to improve healthcare for women in a world where reproductive science is often disregarded, to the detriment of women nationwide.

My goal is to combine my expertise in women’s health and reproductive science, and my communications skills, to inform policy that affects women. In the past I’ve always said, “we need more women in policy,” or “we need more scientists in policy,” and now I know I am that woman. I am that scientist. We all should be.

This is why I’m so excited to have the opportunity to learn more about science policy from the decision makers themselves. Continue reading

Stepping away from the bench to discuss communication strategies

I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to discuss strategies for communicating reproductive science (and science in general) to a doubtful world with the Northwestern University MS Health Communication students yesterday. What a great program! I couldn’t have asked for a more receptive and engaged audience. I’m really hoping to be able to collaborate with some of these students in the future and bring some of our ideas together. It was so refreshing to step away from the bench work and academic research based talks that I’m used to giving, to discuss something equally important in the scientific community.

Many Americans have never met a scientist…we need to fix that

This is something I’ve been passionate about for a while. The general public is misinformed about a lot of scientific issues, but we really only have ourselves to blame. Our work is not over once we publish in an academic journal, we must also be vigilant about communicating our findings with the general public, in a way they can understand. We as scientists tend to surround ourselves with other scientists, both at work and outside of work, and it becomes all too easy to just ignore the anti-science propaganda, to roll our eyes and walk away from the pseudoscience. We have to do better than that. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to many of us, but it’s a skill that we can learn, and we owe it to the general public – the tax payers who fund our research. Academics tend to adopt the mantra, “we must never stop learning,” but just as we must never stop learning, we must also never stop teaching.