Thursday, January 13, 2011


Given that this is my last day at Research!America, I looked up the definition to “bittersweet” to get some inspiration. Here is what I found:

Bittersweet: poisonous perennial Old World vine having violet flowers and oval coral-red berries

Whoa, that’s not right. I don’t equate this experience with poison!

Let’s try again--this is more like it:

Bittersweet: tinged with sadness

I have had the amazing opportunity to be a Science Policy Fellow at Research!America for the past 5 months, but it’s now time to move on. While I am excited to try something new and test the skills I have developed, I am sad to leave the wonderful people I have worked with and the excellent initiatives I have undertaken.

I have learned so much over the course of such a short time. I sought this position so that I could learn more about the governmental process and science policy, but I will be taking much more away.

I have seen how important advocacy is, in particular the necessity for scientists to be involved, and I have learned how to effectively advocate. My newfound insight into the legislative process and Congress will help me navigate the system.

I have seen my writing style change from academic to…well…a little less academic. But at least through that process I have learned how to better communicate scientific principles to non-scientists. In fact, my experience writing for New Voices opened my eyes to a whole new career opportunity – science writing - an area I will be joining after my fellowship.

Though I may not be involved in policy for my job, I am sure to remain active in the policy community. I fully believe in Research!America’s mission and I now have the skills and knowledge to support that mission.

Thus, today is bittersweet. I am grateful for this opportunity and the knowledge I’ve gained, so will be sad to leave, but I look toward an exciting future.

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