The Importance of Science Communication in Policymaking with the EPA

I’ve learned a lot about how science plays an active role in policymaking since the beginning of my internship. One key point I’ve learned is how important communicating scientific findings to non-scientific crowds is. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity in the past to teach a small after school program about science to children in elementary school because it has taught me how to make complex ideas more accessible to others. Science can be especially intimidating and being able to explain things in a way that doesn’t go over the audience’s head or make them feel overwhelmed or inadequate is important but challenging.

My view of science policy has changed since the beginning of my internship and my mentor has certainly opened my eyes to what may lie ahead if I were to go into this type of work myself. In an effort to not be overly political, I have feared that if I were to go work for a government organization such as the EPA, that dealing with the frustrations of potentially having a boss who denies the problem I am researching even exists would be too much for me to cope with. My mentor has worked under two different administrations so far and has mentioned that even though there may be disagreements between the administration and the scientists working for them, everyone deserves their fair shot at making the world a better place according to their vision. Talking with my mentor about this has helped immensely though and has further inspired me to want to work for such an organization so that maybe I could try to help better explain the issues at hand in an understanding and non-threatening way.

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Science Communication in Policymaking with the EPA

  1. Super interesting perspective you’ve gained by working with the EPA! And I agree, science communication is a huge component of the policymaking process. Most policymakers don’t have a formal scientific background so the way that the science is shown to them may influence the policies that affect their constituents. It’s a big responsibility.

  2. It sounds like you have gained some really valuable insight throughout your experience! I agree as well, science communication is key when it comes to translating what we learn in the field/lab to policy makers and the public. Definitely a good skill to have!

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