At that time, Stacie Propst, PhD was leading the initiative; a researcher herself, who had transitioned into science policy and wanted to make sure that others in her position would have the tools available to help them along. As Research!America grew and her responsibilities increased, she transitioned leadership of the initiative to me.
Together we developed language describing the initiative and worked to engage more researchers in the private community. However, it seemed silly to restrict so many of the postings to a small community of scientists when there were certainly more out there looking for information about science policy, advocacy, and science communication.
In December of 2008, the New Voices for Research blog launched. Aided by Research!America's talented interns and fellows we began posting five days a week on the topics we thought would most help readers. In the past two years, New Voices has evolved as more of our colleagues joined in as regular bloggers and as other New Voices moved on to pursue their careers or head back to school. Each has left their mark: unique writing styles, subject matter expertise, humor, competitions, projects, a Twitter presence; totaling - as of next week - more than 500 posts.
Despite all of that change, the last few months have been the biggest transition. Our writing team has become smaller and our fearless leader - Stacie - is departing Research!America after nine years to take the lessons she's learned in national advocacy and apply them in her home state of Alabama. Stacie will join the many New Voices operating on the state and local level around the country.
Though this time has been turbulent, we must look to the future. New Voices' mission to empower researchers to communicate about the value of their work and provide tools and resources online can only continue if we all engage. If you believe in New Voices, I ask you to make one simple step today:
Tell us that yours will be a voice that stands up for science.