FOSEP promotes multidisciplinary interaction among scholars in Seattle about science and policy issues and increases awareness for how scientific and non-scientific knowledge affects society as a whole. Through seminars, discussion groups, public forums and social media on the web, we foster the development of citizen-scientists who can participate effectively in civic dialogue about science. FOSEP provides unique leadership opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows within the University of Washington community and partner institutions and prepares emerging leaders to better communicate advances in science and technology.

We welcome all interested graduate students, professional students, and postdoctoral fellows who bring scientific and/or non-scientific backgrounds to join the Forum.

2015-16 FOSEP leaders

  • Renee Agatsuma, Public Health Genetics
  • Adan Lesiak, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Mario Rosasco, PhD, Physiology and Biophysics
  • Abigail Schindler, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Jaclyn Saunders, Biological Oceanography

Science affects nearly every aspect of American policy. Several major challenges faced by society have solutions that are based on science, yet there is little emphasis to educate scientists in training about policy and communication. We believe FOSEP can successfully educate its student members about the intersection of science and society in a way that is not accessible within a traditional graduate education. To improve the impression of science in culture and the support of scientific research among taxpayers and policy makers, scientists must engage in effective communication and participate in policy discussions. With this mission, FOSEP is training the citizen scientists of the future.

Since its inception in early 2004, FOSEP has hosted well over 100 different events targeted to its members, the local academic community, policymakers, and the public at large. Each of these events fostered communication between the target audience and experts in a wide variety of fields about the social, economic, political and ethical aspects of a broad range of scientific and technological endeavors. With a highly motivated pool of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, FOSEP organizes and provides resources to put on excellent programs otherwise not available at the University of Washington.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, FOSEP continued its mission to increase dialogue about science and society by hosting the following events: 

FOSEP was also active in the following engagements:

  • 1000 Word Event – with Burke Museum
  • Collaboration- Graduate & Professional Student Senate (GPSS), Washington Initiative 522: Labeling Genetically Modified Foods: Should you be concerned?
  • Presentation- Poster submission for the annual AAAS Conference
  • Book Club- Letters to a Young Scientist
  • (Web) Presence- Biweekly science/policy blog, Facebook page and Twitter account

We appreciate your interest and support of FOSEP and invite you to read about our interesting events in the past year, as well as our vision for next year.

Read the 2012-2013 Annual Report here: FOSEP Annual Report