We're curious to get a sense of what people think the March for Science is about, why they are or are not participating, and what science issues matter to them. We've developed this questionnaire to 'take a pulse' of the current conversation surrounding the March for Science, planned for April 22. Please consider participating in this questionnaire to share your beliefs and comments. The questions included on this questionnaire were developed by SPI members and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by MIT in any way. The responses gathered through this questionnaire will not be used for research. 


Our Mission

The MIT Science Policy Initiative, founded in 2007, is a group of graduate (and some undergraduate) students who work closely with MIT Faculty, the MIT Washington DC Office, and other science policy advocates to better understand how scientists can play a central role in the framing of science and technology policy legislation and public discourse. We strive to create better scientists and engineers as well as a better society through rigorous research and authentic engagement with public policy.

Our programming includes monthly meetings, lunch seminars, a 4 day short course during MIT's Independent Activities Period, and student trips to meet with lawmakers in Washington DC. We focus on educating science students on challenges facing our community at the institutional, local, and national level, to enable them to be better researchers and advocates, who are capable of effecting change in support of scientific progress. Our mission is to foster connections between researchers to policy makers. We work to place MIT's young researchers at the intersection of rigorous scientific research and public policy, such that they are well equipped to contribute to the development of both fields.

PRESIDENT Rachel Gilmore Rachel graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and then came to MIT to pursue a PhD. Her research is focused on understanding charge transport in nanostructured materials for solar energy applications. Rachel is interested in science communication, STEM education, climate, and energy policy.

PRESIDENT
Rachel Gilmore

Rachel graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, and then came to MIT to pursue a PhD. Her research is focused on understanding charge transport in nanostructured materials for solar energy applications. Rachel is interested in science communication, STEM education, climate, and energy policy.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR Jack Reid Jack is from the island of strange that is Austin, Texas. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Philosophy from Texas A&M University before starting his current studies at MIT, another dual degree, this time the Technology & Policy Program and AeroAstro. His research is on the management of complex systems and emergent behavior. This interest naturally enough bleeds over into the effects of policy as well as the political system itself.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR
Jack Reid


Jack is from the island of strange that is Austin, Texas. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Philosophy from Texas A&M University before starting his current studies at MIT, another dual degree, this time the Technology & Policy Program and AeroAstro. His research is on the management of complex systems and emergent behavior. This interest naturally enough bleeds over into the effects of policy as well as the political system itself.

DISCUSSION CHAIR Lilia Xie Lilia is originally from New Jersey and completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Princeton in 2014. She then worked as an energy storage analyst with Lux Research, which sparked her interest in emerging technologies and energy policy. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in inorganic chemistry at MIT, where her research focuses on developing novel metal-organic framework materials for energy-related applications.

DISCUSSION CHAIR
Lilia Xie


Lilia is originally from New Jersey and completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Princeton in 2014. She then worked as an energy storage analyst with Lux Research, which sparked her interest in emerging technologies and energy policy. Currently she is pursuing a PhD in inorganic chemistry at MIT, where her research focuses on developing novel metal-organic framework materials for energy-related applications.

NSPG LIAISON Eli Pollock Hailing from the Greater Philadelphia Area, Eli is a first-year PhD student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He studied physics and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also took classes related to entrepreneurship in technical fields and co-founded a political discussion group. He has always been interested in science as well as politics, philosophy, and other forces that shape history.

NSPG LIAISON
Eli Pollock

Hailing from the Greater Philadelphia Area, Eli is a first-year PhD student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. He studied physics and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also took classes related to entrepreneurship in technical fields and co-founded a political discussion group. He has always been interested in science as well as politics, philosophy, and other forces that shape history.

VICE PRESIDENT Lisa Guay Lisa grew up with an inevitable appreciation for science as the daughter of two chemical engineers in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her interest in public policy was piqued by National History Day participation and a junior high debate class, and she continued on to earn a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in economics from the University of Arizona. Now working on a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, she is interested in energy and biotechnology policy, STEM education, and patent law.

VICE PRESIDENT
Lisa Guay


Lisa grew up with an inevitable appreciation for science as the daughter of two chemical engineers in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her interest in public policy was piqued by National History Day participation and a junior high debate class, and she continued on to earn a B.S. in chemical engineering and a B.A. in economics from the University of Arizona. Now working on a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, she is interested in energy and biotechnology policy, STEM education, and patent law.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR Shelby Doyle Shelby is a PhD Candidate in Biological Engineering at MIT training in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Under the supervision of Angela Koehler, she is studying novel therapeutic approaches in breast and prostate cancer, two highly prevalent cancers with high rates of chemotherapy resistance. Prior to MIT, Shelby earned a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University, where she was heavily involved in student government for the College of Engineering. Shelby is very interested in technical communication, diversity in STEM education, and leveraging public-private partnerships to create hands-on training infrastructure.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR
Shelby Doyle


Shelby is a PhD Candidate in Biological Engineering at MIT training in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Under the supervision of Angela Koehler, she is studying novel therapeutic approaches in breast and prostate cancer, two highly prevalent cancers with high rates of chemotherapy resistance. Prior to MIT, Shelby earned a B.S. in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University, where she was heavily involved in student government for the College of Engineering. Shelby is very interested in technical communication, diversity in STEM education, and leveraging public-private partnerships to create hands-on training infrastructure.

SPECIAL EVENT COORDINATOR Angela Phillips Angela is a South Florida native and UF Alum with a B.S. in Chemistry. She is now a fourth year Ph.D. student at MIT studying influenza protein evolution. Angela became interested in science policy during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and is specifically interested in the management of viral pandemics.

SPECIAL EVENT COORDINATOR
Angela Phillips


Angela is a South Florida native and UF Alum with a B.S. in Chemistry. She is now a fourth year Ph.D. student at MIT studying influenza protein evolution. Angela became interested in science policy during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and is specifically interested in the management of viral pandemics.

TREASURER Abigail Regitsky Abigail grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and obtained her BS from Georgia Tech. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where she studies mechanisms of biomineralization for applications in more sustainable industrial materials. Making the world a more sustainable place has largely driven her academic pathway and has more recently spurred her interest in science policy as a means to accomplish this goal.

TREASURER
Abigail Regitsky


Abigail grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and obtained her BS from Georgia Tech. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, where she studies mechanisms of biomineralization for applications in more sustainable industrial materials. Making the world a more sustainable place has largely driven her academic pathway and has more recently spurred her interest in science policy as a means to accomplish this goal.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR Peter Su Hailing from the great state of Michigan, Peter received a B.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, and is now a materials science PhD student at MIT. His interest in policy and politics was initially piqued by Congressional gridlock and the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, which happened to coincide with his AP US Government class. He became very interested in the causes and solutions to congressional gridlock, and therefore what constitutes good policy, leading him to join SPI.

CONGRESSIONAL VISIT DAYS CO-CHAIR
Peter Su


Hailing from the great state of Michigan, Peter received a B.S.E. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, and is now a materials science PhD student at MIT. His interest in policy and politics was initially piqued by Congressional gridlock and the debt ceiling crisis of 2011, which happened to coincide with his AP US Government class. He became very interested in the causes and solutions to congressional gridlock, and therefore what constitutes good policy, leading him to join SPI.

ALUMNI RELATIONS DIRECTOR Georgia Lagoudas Georgia is a 4th year PhD student in the Biological Engineering program at MIT, and she hails from the far away land of Texas. She completed her undergraduate at Rice University and is now working on studying microbial genetics for medical applications. She examines healthy microbes in our body and tracks pathogenic microbes in the clinic with sequencing tools. She’s been interested in politics ever since she was a delegate to the Texas Democratic Convention in 2008.

ALUMNI RELATIONS DIRECTOR
Georgia Lagoudas

Georgia is a 4th year PhD student in the Biological Engineering program at MIT, and she hails from the far away land of Texas. She completed her undergraduate at Rice University and is now working on studying microbial genetics for medical applications. She examines healthy microbes in our body and tracks pathogenic microbes in the clinic with sequencing tools. She’s been interested in politics ever since she was a delegate to the Texas Democratic Convention in 2008.

EXECUTIVE VISIT DAYS CHAIR Jennifer Apell Jennifer has previously received a B.S. and M.Eng. and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. Her research has inextricable links to public policy from updating water treatment infrastructure to managing Superfund sites. She hopes that collaborative relationships between scientists and policy makers can lead to both pertinent research questions as well as effective environmental policies.

EXECUTIVE VISIT DAYS CHAIR
Jennifer Apell

Jennifer has previously received a B.S. and M.Eng. and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering. Her research has inextricable links to public policy from updating water treatment infrastructure to managing Superfund sites. She hopes that collaborative relationships between scientists and policy makers can lead to both pertinent research questions as well as effective environmental policies.

Bootcamp Director - Gyunghoon (Kenny) Kang Originally from the Boston area, Kenny graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Chemistry. He then spent a year teaching organic chemistry in Qatar before coming to MIT to pursue a PhD in Biological Chemistry. His research focuses on the structural elucidation of metalloproteins using X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy. His interest in learning more about effective science communication and environmental policy issues led him to join SPI.

Bootcamp Director - Gyunghoon (Kenny) Kang

Originally from the Boston area, Kenny graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Chemistry. He then spent a year teaching organic chemistry in Qatar before coming to MIT to pursue a PhD in Biological Chemistry. His research focuses on the structural elucidation of metalloproteins using X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy. His interest in learning more about effective science communication and environmental policy issues led him to join SPI.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Ronnie Foreman Ronnie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and is pursuing two Master’s Degrees at MIT, one in Aeronautics and Astronautics and the other in Technology and Public Policy. She’s been passionate about the interface between science, policy, and public outreach ever since her first high school job working at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. Her research focuses on space based remote sensing platforms for Earth science and observation, with an emphasis on distributed spacecraft mission design, cost, and risk estimation.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Ronnie Foreman


Ronnie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech, and is pursuing two Master’s Degrees at MIT, one in Aeronautics and Astronautics and the other in Technology and Public Policy. She’s been passionate about the interface between science, policy, and public outreach ever since her first high school job working at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. Her research focuses on space based remote sensing platforms for Earth science and observation, with an emphasis on distributed spacecraft mission design, cost, and risk estimation.