FOSEP General Meeting (Oct. 30th 2012): Summary

FOSEP hosted its first general meeting of the year on Tuesday, and despite the rainy weather, we had a fantastic turnout.

FOSEP Meeting

Corey discusses our upcoming, quarterly book club.

The meeting kicked off with an overview of the history of FOSEP (We were founded by graduate students in 2004), followed by a summary of the types of events we have hosted in the past, and our collaborations with other groups, both on- and off-campus. We were sure to highlight all of the exciting events on the horizon, which any FOSEP member can participate in, including:

  • Science Cafe -a collaboration among FOSEP, the Pacific Science Center and KCTS9- At the event, three of our fearless FOSEP leaders will provide overviews of current science-policy issues. Then, there will be roundtable discussions on the role of science in politics and government as the election results stream in, in the background. This will take place at T.S McHugh’s in lower Queen Anne, beginning at 6:30pm on Tues. Nov. 6th.
  • A quarterly book club where we meet (in an informal setting) to discuss a sci/policy book. Stay tuned for the January book club selection. Current contenders are … Marketing for ScientistsThe ConundrumHow Economics Shapes Science, and Reinventing Discovery.
  • A “Hill Day” where we organize en masse to go to Olympia and chat with state and federal elected officials about science funding. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) offers great support and opportunities for scientists to get involved in a local “Hill Day”; they also provide opportunities for graduate students and post docs to attend a “Hill Day” in D.C.
  • Winter and Spring quarter seminars- Currently, we are looking for suggested speakers. If you have an idea, send us an email or post on our FOSEP Facebook page.

The second half of our meeting was dedicated to a discussion group that focused on a current scientific event; in this case, it was the recent conviction of Italian scientists in the deaths that occurred after the 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy. Check out this Nature.com article for an overview of the case. This was a “test-run” for our discussion group, and it went really well. Several great issues were brought up relating to the importance of science communication, the translation of science to the media by public officials, and the need for transparency in both government and in science. We are excited for upcoming monthly gatherings, and once again, if you have an idea for a discussion group topic or if you would like to lead a discussion, contact us!

FOSEP discussion

Chris Terai leading the FOSEP discussion group

   Thank you to those who attended the meeting and participated in the discussion. It was quite thought-provoking.

    FOSEP is hoping to expand our reach across campus, and to attract more new members and leaders. If you are interested in getting more involved (e.g. book club participation, seminar organization, Hill Day, etc), send us an email. This is a great opportunity to hone your science/policy interests, expand your network, and add a few lines to your CV.

     And in the meantime, please mark your calendars for our next meeting, which will take place on

Monday, November 19th at 5pm (location: TBD). 

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