Welcome to the official STEPPS blog, where STEPPS faculty, students, and graduates offer commentary about things related to science policy and to the Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy Specialization at M.S.U.
Our goal is to have each of the seven core STEPPS faculty members contribute something to this site at least once each week. We will also have invited contributors from among our students and our graduates providing content. We encourage all STEPPS community members to use the comment sections to offer their own input. Ideally, we see this as a place where we can share our thoughts and interests with one another and further build our community of scholars and students who are interested in local, national, and international science policy.
The freshest twelve posts are listed below, with the most recent ones first. Earlier posts can be found by clicking on the drop down menu in the “Archives,” which is located on the right side of this page. Also on the right, you will find a list of useful links to things like the STEPPS checklist and other online science policy resources.
Green Corps has advertised its 2013-4 field school. They will provide fellowships fro 35 graduating seniors. If you are interested in environmental policy, advocacy, and organizing, I would encourage you to apply.
Green Corps is looking for college graduates who are ready to take on the biggest environmental challenges of our day.
For more information, read below or visit our web site: www.greencorps.org.
Apply online today at greencorps.org/apply
STEPPS students who are looking for something to do this summer should check into this:
Symposium on Philosophy and Science:
9 Examples of How the Philosophy of Science Is Relevant to Social Issues Friday, October 19th, Snyder Hall C302, 10am-2:30pm
Speakers: Carla Fehr and Katie Plaisance (Waterloo University); Sandra Harding (UCLA); Nancy Tuana (Penn State); Paul Thompson, Michael O’Rourke, Daniel Steel, Sean Valles and Kyle Whyte (MSU).
Scientific research and expertise play important roles in the framing and public understanding of social issues, from public health to climate change. Science can also be implicated in oppressions like colonialism, racial and gender prejudices, and harmful discourses of normalcy. Philosophers of science can impact how science is related to social issues, from identifying how values influence scientific judgments to addressing issues of ethics and trust regarding the authority of scientific experts in public policy-making to formulating methodologies and epistemologies that members of vulnerable groups can use to guide their research and justify their practices. Philosophers of science are often at the forefront of changes in scientific standards and practice, having impacts on issues like animal rights and experimentation, and challenging standards for good research and practices that are Eurocentric, male-supremacist, supportive of white privilege and ableist. The kinds of work just described contribute to philosophical inquiries into social issues in bioethics, ethics and development, feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, environmental and agricultural philosophy, social epistemology, American Indian and Indigenous philosophy, and philosophy and law, among others.
Socially relevant philosophy of science presents significant opportunities for philosophers to increase their integration within colleges and universities, influence regional, national and global social issues, and engage in innovative teaching. It also provides intellectual frameworks for students pursuing masters and doctoral research in philosophy as well as in other fields such as education, social science and environmental science. Science and engineering intensive universities like University of Waterloo, Penn State and Michigan State house philosophers who are seeking to promote a strong research community of socially relevant philosophers of science.
Important questions remain about the nature of this emerging field and how scholars and students who are attracted to it can take advantage of its current literatures and intellectual frameworks.
What are the intellectual frameworks of socially-relevant philosophy of science?
What sorts of projects characterize it?
What are the strategies for advancing socially progressive philosophy of science?
Is there a “canon” that can guide doctoral studies in philosophy and other disciplines?
How should it be related to other areas in social philosophy (e.g.
bioethics, environmental ethics, etc.)?
The MSU Department of Philosophy will host a symposium on these questions on October 19th. Each speaker will make a brief presentation aimed to foster conversation among everyone in attendance. We intend this symposium to be conversational. We welcome members of the MSU community and institutions in the region. Lunch is included and will be served across the parking lot in S. Kedzie Hall (5th floor) at 12:20pm. Please RSVP to Kyle Whyte at email@example.com as there is limited room.
Check out 2 recent provocative articles from the Observer/Guardian (UK) online…
1. Thomas Kuhn: the man who changed the way the world looked at science
On the 50th anniversary of Kuhn’s book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, John Naughton discusses how the book has impacted scientific practice and our understanding of how science works.
2. Philosophy v science: which can answer the big questions of life?
A debate between a philosopher and a theoretical physicist about the role of their disciplines.
What do you think? Did Kuhn truly change science? Are philosophy and physics irreconcilable approaches to understanding our world?
For anyone interested in biotechnology policy, we will be hosting an informal lunch with Greg Jaffe, Director of Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (http://www.cspinet.org/index.html). Mr. Jaffe’s bio is below. Please find us in the Case Hall cafeteria Thursday, noon-1pm.
Director of Biotechnology
Gregory Jaffe is the Director of the Project on Biotechnology for CSPI. Jaffe came to CSPI after serving as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and as Senior Counsel with the U.S. EPA, Air Enforcement Division. He is a recognized international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety, and has published numerous articles and reports on those topics. He has worked on biosafety regulatory issues in the U.S. and throughout the world, including the African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. He was a member of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture from 2003-2008 and was reappointed to a new term in 2011. He was also a member of FDA’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee from 2004-2008. In addition, he has provided his biosafety expertise for projects involving the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and the UNEP-GEF Biosafety Project. Jaffe earned his BA with High Honors from Wesleyan University in Biology and Government and then received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter – Political Internship
What is the Sierra Club?
The Sierra Club’s members and supporters are more than 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. Founded in 1892, the Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Our mission is to: (1) Explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; (2) Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; (3) Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and (4) Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
In this internship, you will directly assist candidates running for public office that the Sierra Club has endorsed. The Sierra Club has an extremely rigorous endorsement process and focuses on the most competitive races with the best environmentally-minded candidates. In this internship, we will train you on the basic skills of campaign organizing, educate you about environmental issues that play in politics, and then deploy you to be part of a candidate’s campaign for two-three months. Potential responsibilities include: helping organize fundraisers for a candidate, coordinating voter contact, organizing phone banks, recruiting Sierra Club members to volunteer for a candidate, helping coordinate press conferences and press releases for a candidate, helping with a candidate’s earned media strategy as well as social media, assisting with policy or campaign research, performing data entry and office work as needed.
The ideal applicant will have an interest in politics, a knowledge or interest in environmental issues, and be proficient in Microsoft Office applications. Applicants must be able to take direction on projects, work independently, be flexible, and be prepared for a fun and fast-paced campaign environment.
Internship positions are available for the Fall (September-November) semester, and are able to be shortened or extended as needed. This internship can come with a small stipend to offset the cost of food and gas and can also earn you class credit (you will need to work this out with your academic advisor). The internship is coordinated through our Lansing office, and there will be an internship training in Flint, however, you will be deployed to work for a campaign that will likely be near where you are located. Internships can be arranged for between 10 to 40 hours per week, with flexible scheduling.
To apply, send your resume to Mike Berkowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a brief (one-two paragraphs) statement describing your interest in this internship. The application deadline is Monday, September 11th. Interns must be available to attend a full-day training on Saturday, September 15th.
Mike Berkowitz, Legislative & Political Director Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
109 E. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906
Office: (517) 484-2372 Ext. 13
The Demmer Scholars is a great opportunity for student to gain science policy experience in DC over the summer, and once again many of this year’s Demmer Scholars were STEPPS students. There are some great blog posts about their time in DC on their blog: