Posted on Show Me Mizzou Jan. 7, 2021
In an increasingly complicated world, politicians regularly face crucial, science-based decisions. The problem is that many policymakers aren’t scientists. And they don’t usually have access to reliable resources where they can quickly gather information when they need it. Now, thanks to three Mizzou graduate students, Missouri lawmakers do. Launched in Jefferson City in fall 2020, the Missouri Science and Technology (MOST) Policy Initiative places five postdoctoral fellows in a range of science and technology backgrounds with the Missouri Legislature. The fellows assist legislators with research when writing bills and help them weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of pending legislation. MOST is largely supported by a grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. “Scientists are frustrated that there isn’t more science in the policy discussion,” says Rachel Owen, PhD ’19, program director and co-founder along with fellow Tigers Mike Hendricks, MA ’16, PhD ’19, and Hallie Thompson, BS ’11. “We don’t want to just communicate science for science’s sake. We believe that informed legislators will be able to help people in Missouri.”
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