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SPAG Newsletter – September 2020

SPAG Newsletter – February 2019

SPAG Newsletter – October 2018

SPAG Newsletter – September 2016

  • General Interest Meeting and Science Policy Speaker Series – Dr. Richard Watkins, Sept. 8
  • Science Outreach Sign-Up
  • Science Café: Privacy and Oversharing Online – Sept. 7
  • Triangle Science Policy Events – Sept.13
  • Call for SPAG Legislative Affairs Committee Chair
  • Get Involved with SPAG’s Committees
  • Policy Fellowships
  • Meet Your New Committee Chair!

General Interest Meeting and Science Policy Speaker Series Dr. Richard Watkins

“From Student to Scientist to CEO: A brief history of The Science Policy Action Network, Inc.”

Thursday, September 8th, 5:15-6:30

McGavaran-Greenberg 2301

Interested in learning more about Science Policy and Science Advocacy? Wondering what kinds of careers you can obtain with a science degree and an interest in politics? Join SPAG at 5:15pm for our general interest meeting to learn about our group and how to be involved. At 5:30pm, meet Dr. Richard Watkins, to learn about his transition from being a UNC student to a creating his own company, Science Policy Action Network (SPAN).

Pizza and refreshments will be served!


Science Outreach Sign-Up

Thursday, September 22, leaving UNC at 4:30pm

Louisburg Elementary School

Our STEMville outreach event in collaboration with Morehead Planetarium is at Louisburg Elementary School. Interact with students and parents while teaching the importance of science policy! Educational activity and supplies will be provided! Carpooling to/from Franklin Country will be arranged. Contact Edhriz Siraliev-Perez at for more details.

Sign-up for this event and future outreach events here:


Carolina Science Café: Privacy and Oversharing Online – A Look at 21st Century Trust

Tuesday, Sept. 7 – 6:00pm

BackBar at Top of the Hill Restaurant, Downtown Chapel Hill

What makes you feel safe exposing personal information online? You may reconsider what, how, and with whom you exchange information on the web after this presentation. John Martin, doctoral student at the UNC School of Information and Library Science will lead a discussion about self-incrimination, trust, and risk in online drug forums. Is your information exposed? Find out on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 6:00 p.m.

 Free appetizers while supplies last, courtesy of our sponsor, UNC-CH’s chapter of Sigma Xi.


Triangle Science Policy Events:

Periodic Tables: Brain-Machine Interfaces, w/ Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

MotorCo, 723 Rigsbee Ave, Durham, NC 27701

Explore the science behind brain-machine interfaces and their promise not only for prosthetics, but for understanding and treating a wide range of neurological disorders.


Twitch: A Documentary | The Last Generation with Huntington’s Disease

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 8:30 p.m. (after Periodic Tables)

MotorCo, 723 Rigsbee Ave, Durham, NC 27701

Twitch follows 18-year-old Kristen Powers as she undergoes genetic testing for Huntington’s disease, an incurable genetic disorder. After watching her mum suffer from the disease, Kristen decided she wanted to demystify the controversial testing process. So she made a film. The 45 minute documentary will explore the personal experience of living in an HD family, as well as the stigma surrounding both the disease and the genetic test.


Science in the Movies: Bugs – Fear, Fascination and Fantasy

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

NC State – Auditorium (Hunt) at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library

SCONC and the NCSU Libraries present the next “Science in the Movies” Series’ installment.

In advance of Bugfest, join a panel of experts as they show and discuss clips of their favorite film insects, bugs, and creepy crawlers. The panel includes entomologist Dr. Holly Menninger and film scholar Dr. Marsha Gordon, both of NC State, along with other scientists and science communicators. Moderated by Brian Malow, the Science Comedian.


Call for SPAG Committee Chair

Legislative Affairs: Can’t get enough of the legal happenings around DC and Raleigh? Find yourself blogging and tweeting about current legislation? Come lead SPAG’s Legislative Affairs Committee! Potential activities include running our science policy blog, coordinating congressional visit days to Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, and keeping SPAG members up-to-date on relevant science policies!


Get Involved with SPAG’s Committees

Want to be more involved in science policy? Are you interested in outreach, professional development and/or legislative affairs? Want to help plan events with SPAG? Sign up to be part of one of our special committees!

If you’re interested in learning more, sign up here:


Policy Fellowships

The Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship:

Fellows will spend 12 weeks at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC learning about science and technology policy and the role that scientists and engineers play in advising the nation.

Deadline: September 6th


AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) provide opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policymaking process. Fellows serve yearlong assignments in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government in Washington. Each year, the program adds to a growing corps over 3,000 strong of policy-savvy leaders working across academia, government, nonprofits, and industry to serve the nation and the world.

Deadline: November 1st


AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists

December 7-8, 2016

AIBS Washington, DC

Rarely has the need for effective and influential communication about science been more important than it is today. The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) is responding to this need by offering scientists a new professional development opportunity. The AIBS Communications Training Boot Camp for Scientists expands on our highly successful media and science policy training workshops. The program meets the needs of everyone from graduate students to senior researchers and program administrators. Registration $395-$495.


Meet your New Committee Chair!

SPAG is happy to introduce our new committee chair:

                Social Media Chair: Jessica Griswold


We’re all excited for a great year of science policy! Feel free to contact us with any questions!