Mandë Holford: taking science from beach to bedside, around the world

The Science Soapbox team paired up with the Rockefeller University Outreach Lab’s Lab Out Loud [LOL] afterschool program to host a LIVE show starring Dr. Mandë Holford. A longtime friend of the show, Dr. Holford is a Professor of Chemical Biology at Hunter College, with an appointment at the American Museum of Natural History. Her work centers on studying the venom of killer snails to find disease treatments. A globetrotter herself, she also is one of the co-founders of the Science Diplomacy course that launched our show. In this episode, we talk about how her research goes “from beach to bedside” and explore the power of science diplomacy in the Paris Climate Accord.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on June 2, 2017 in the Rockefeller University Library. Special thanks to Visager for music.

Kei Koizumi: on the inexact science of the science budget

On May the Fourth, the Science Soapbox team sat down with appropriations expert Kei Koizumi to demystify the federal budget process. Kei served as the former assistant director for federal research and development at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) during the Obama administration. He is now a Visiting Scholar at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In this episode, we wind our way through the appropriations process, the importance of science for America’s health and wealth, and the prospects of R&D in a galaxy far, far away.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

  • In April, President Obama’s Science Advisor John Holdren wrote this op-ed for STAT about why it’s high time the President appoint his own Science Advisor
  • Other science leaders who are urging the President to appoint a Science Advisor include AAAS CEO Rush Holt and the 29 authors of this open letter
  • A few days before we recorded, Congress settled on a budget for Fiscal Year 2017. Check out this nifty recap in Science too see how science fared.
  • Learn how you can be a force for science like Kei by visiting forceforscience.org
  • Kei is one of three Visiting Scholars at the AAAS. Find out what they’re up to here.

This episode was recorded on May 4, 2017 in the Rockefeller University Library. Special thanks to Visager for music.

Rodney Nichols: the foundations of science diplomacy — past & present

What’s better than sitting down with one of your mentors to chat and discuss the state of a field? The Science Soapbox team chatted with Rodney Nichols, one of the organizers of the Science Diplomacy class that inspired this podcast. Rod comes from an extensive background in academia and advocacy, having served as Vice President of The Rockefeller University, and President of the New York Academy of Science. We talk about his personal path to science diplomacy, the current state of affairs, and the grassroots efforts emerging throughout academic campuses.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

  • We uploaded the monograph Rod wrote up for the Carnegie Commission of Science, Technology, and Government on the role science and technology can play in United States international affairs, which you can access here
  • Following the Iran Nuclear Deal of 2015, Rod wrote a great piece for Foreign Affairs on why science and diplomacy need each other
  • Maryam discussed science diplomacy efforts around volcanology in North Korea, which you can read more about in this piece in WIRED and in this one in NPR
  • We also mentioned that we’ve interviewed Rod’s Science Diplomacy co-instructor Jesse Ausubel, and that we’ll soon be interviewing Dr. Mandë Holford in a live show coming up in June.
    You can reserve a spot for that here!
  • Avital plugged the AAAS’s Science Diplomacy Education Network, which you can learn more about on their official site with programming soon to launch

This episode was recorded on April 19, 2017 in the Rockefeller University Outreach Lab. Special thanks to Visager for music.

Marga Gual Soler: on science diplomacy as a contact sport

The Science Soapbox team sits down with longtime friend and mentor Dr. Marga Gual Soler, Project Director at the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Trained as a molecular biologist, Dr. Gual Soler traded in her lab coat to build a career for herself as a diplomat for science. In this episode, we chat about how she became a diplomat, why scientists should embed themselves into government, and new science diplomacy education programs under way at the Center for Science Diplomacy.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

  • We chatted about the findings from this illuminating Science & Diplomacy article co-authored by Dr. Gual Soler and her colleagues at the Center for Science Diplomacy — International Collaboration in Connecting Scientists to Policy
  • Be sure to check out the full report “Connecting Scientists to Policy Around the World” to learn more about the AAAS’s landscape analysis for how scientists and engineers around the world are aiming to integrate into government
  • The Science Diplomacy Education Network is an excellent one-stop shop for resources and materials for science diplomacy education programs. Check it out on their official page, with more to come soon!
  • Do read the 2010 “New frontiers in science diplomacy” report published by the AAAS and the Royal Society, which piqued Dr. Gual Soler’s interest while she was cooped up doing microscopy
  • You can learn more about Dr. Gual Soler’s path to becoming a science diplomat in this piece she wrote for Slate
  • Dr. Gual Soler also mentioned that she participated in Georgetown University’s Global Competitiveness Leadership Program, which is a great opportunity for those of you listeners of Ibero-American origin. You can learn more here.
  • And of course, don’t forget to follow Dr. Gual Soler on Twitter @margagual!

This episode was recorded on April 7, 2017 in the Rockefeller University Outreach Lab. Special thanks to Visager for music.

Diana Burley: at the interface of people and technology

Science Soapbox gets a crash course in cybersecurity with nationally recognized expert Dr. Diana Burley. Dr. Burley is Professor of Human and Organizational Learning at The George Washington University and executive director and chair of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P). In this episode, recorded at the AAAS Science Diplomacy Meeting, we chat about what it means to work in cybersecurity, the need to recruit diversity into the workforce, and the role of diplomacy in keeping our worldwide cybersystems safe.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on March 29, 2017 at the AAAS Science Diplomacy Meeting. Special thanks to the AAAS Science Diplomacy team for the great event and to Visager for music.

Sylvia Earle: an eyewitness for change in our seas

Dr. Sylvia Earle — also known as “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times — is a marine biologist, ocean explorer, conservationist, and author. Her storied career has seen accomplishments such as leading the first all female underwater expedition called Tektite II, becoming the first woman appointed head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and earning the TED Prize in 2009. Her most recent initiative Mission Blue seeks to create Hope Spots around the world to create a global network of marine protected areas. With over 7,000 hours exploring the depths of our oceans, Dr. Earle shares her unique firsthand perspective on the need to preserve underwater habitats and the importance of storytelling in the endeavor to protect our waters.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on March 6, 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Special thanks to the Lewis Thomas Prize coordinators and to Visager for music. Photo credit goes to TEDx Woods Hole.

Kelly Fleming: and the power of 500 Women Scientists

Dr. Kelly Fleming is a chemical engineer, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, and Policy and Advocacy lead for 500 Women Scientists — a grassroots organization started by four women in science following the 2016 election. By mid-November, the group had grown to 500 who signed onto an open letter pledging to stand up for scientific integrity and for women, minorities, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA. Today, over 17,000 women have pledged their support and Local Pods for action have sprung up in over 100 locations around the world. The Science Soapbox team sat down with Kelly to chat more about 500 Women Scientists’ mission and how, with outreach, she hopes to promote an inclusive and diverse scientific community to solve global challenges.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on February 18, 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Special thanks to Visager for music. Photo credit goes to Amanda Kowalski for ClimateTruth.org.

Siddhartha Roy: a public-focused scientist on Flint’s water crisis

Siddhartha Roy is a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech working with Dr. Marc Edwards. His research centers on studying failure mechanisms in potable water infrastructure, specifically erosion corrosion in copper-based premise plumbing and, more recently, the citywide lead contamination in the Flint Water Crisis. Sid serves as the Communications Director and Student Leader of the Flint Water Study and has become an advocate for reforming the academic system. In this interview, Sid shares his experiences working with the Flint community and his insights into how Academia can better serve the public good.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on February 17, 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Special thanks to Visager for music. Photo credit goes to Virginia Tech.

Danielle Fox: on watching over science and democracy

Danielle Fox is a campaign manager and manager of the Science Network for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. As campaign manager, Danielle develops and implements campaigns for advocates, partners, and scientists to protect and promote the role of science in democratic dialogue, and the policy making process. She also manages the UCS Science Network, which offers scientists and technical experts training, resources, and engagement opportunities to bring their distinct expertise to the public. In this episode, we chat with Danielle about UCS’s latest watchdogging efforts to track science in the current administration, and about the role of scientists as advocates in democracy.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

  • To learn more about and join Union of Concerned Scientists’ Science Network, visit here
  • If you want to sign-up to join the Science Network in watchdogging for science, fill out this short survey to share a little about yourself so UCS can tailor opportunities to your interests, strengths, and availability
  • Want tools to get more involved in defending science in your community? Check out UCS’s Watchdog Toolkit
  • Join the Science Network LinkedIn group to easily get the lasted developments on attacks on science and opportunities to take action, or follow @SciNetUCS on Twitter to join the conversation and connect with others
  • Get access to secure means for federal scientists or scientists working on federally-funded research to share any information of experiences or risks of political censorship, manipulation, or interference with Secure Share

This episode was recorded on February 18, 2017 at the AAAS Annual Meeting. Special thanks to Visager for music.

Lucky Tran: on standing up to an anti-science administration

In the wake of the 2016 Presidential election, Science Soapbox sat down with Dr. Lucky Tran — scientist and science communicator — for a conversation about the future of science activism at the dawn of a new administration. Already, thousands of scientists have signed on to petitions and open letters calling for the President-elect and his emerging administration to respect the integrity of science and the rights of those conducting research. Last week, scientists and advocates gathered at the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting to #StandForScience. In this episode, we chat with Lucky about his experiences as an organizer, strategies to defend the scientific enterprise, and the need for scientists to stand up for and see each other.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during the show:

This episode was recorded on December 15, 2016 in the Rockefeller University Outreach Lab. Special thanks to Visager for music and Thelma Young for photo rights.