Oct
2
6:00pm 6:00pm

Urbanization, "Smart" Cities, & Inclusivity

Join for our October monthly discussion! 

Urbanization, "Smart" Cities, & Inclusivity

Monday, October 2, 2017, 6:00–7:30 pm

Room: 66-144

Dinner provided for attendees!

Today, more than half of the global population lives in cities, with projections to reach more 66% by 2050. Despite only covering 2% of total land, they account for 70% of the economy (GDP), over 60% of global energy consumption, 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 70% of global waste. The increasing concentration of people, economy, and knowledge in cities is shaping the urban landscape that surrounds us and people’s quality of life like never before. For example, the data revolution and ICTs have made the flow of information increasingly fast, communication instant, and global trade easier. Additionally, technological change is reshaping health care, access to basic services, housing, transportation, job opportunities, education, and other sectors of both the economy and society. The scaffold within which cities have grown is also influencing the natural environment, leading to systemic issues such as climate change and resource depletion. This discussion will be centered around the applications of science, technology and innovation policy to address increasing pressures of equity within cities, systems of innovation, and promoting integrated territorial development to reduce disparities between-and-within urban-and-rural areas.

 

Additional background reading:

After Quito, the path forward for the New Urban Agenda - link

Smart cities must be people-centered, equitable cities - link

Science for Sustainable Rural-urban Regions - link

The New Urban Agenda: key opportunities and challenges for policy and practice - link

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May
3
4:30pm 4:30pm

The Future of Manufacturing, the Workforce, and Society: Panel Discussion

Location: 34-101, reception to follow in Stata R&D Pub

Please join us for a panel discussion on the future of the American workforce, with a focus on advanced manufacturing, workforce education solutions, and social disruption due to technological innovation. Panelists will include:

·       Suzanne Berger, Raphael Dorman-Helen Starbuck Professor of Political Science

·       Amy Glasmeier, Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning

·       Elisabeth Reynolds, Executive Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center

·       Sanjay Sarma, Vice President for Open Learning

The panel will be followed by a reception to encourage additional discussion and networking (please bring 21+ ID). Co-hosted by the MIT Science Policy Initiative and the Graduate Student Council External Affairs Board.

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May
1
6:00pm 6:00pm

May Monthly Meeting

Billionaire-Backed Science

Monday, May 1, 2017

6:00–7:30 pm

56-180

Dinner provided for attendees!

 

A handful of extremely wealthy individuals with a philanthropic bent are turning their attention to research and development. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, will funnel $3 billion over 10 years towards biomedical research through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. John Arnold, a hedge-fund manager, wants to address efforts that have struggled to attract funding from traditional sources, such as reproducibility studies. Others are taking on their own risky ventures – Jeff Bezos will invest $1 billion per year into his own rocket company.

Will billionaire-backed science bring to life important projects that have been neglected by both government grants and industry funding? Will these investors – many of them with no formal training in the sciences they seek to support – conduct proper due diligence? Finally, will their interest be sustained enough to make meaningful impacts on any field? Join us to discuss these questions and more!

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Apr
3
6:00pm 6:00pm

April Monthly Meeting

Global Access to Medicines and International Science Policy Challenges

with Donovan Guttieres and Aashish Khullar (UN Major Group for Children and Youth)

Monday, April 3, 2017

6:00–7:30 pm

56-180

Dinner provided for attendees!

Price hikes in the pharmaceutical industry have recently been the target of heavy criticism in the US. However, expensive drugs in developing countries have long constituted a major public health issue, compounded by complex intellectual property regulations and concerns over safety.

We will be joined by Donovan Guttieres (TPP '18; Coordinator, UN MGCY) and Aashish Khullar (Organizing Partner, UN MGCY; Economy Futures Group of MIT and Harvard). They will share their experiences working on global access to medicines and other international issues with major science policy components. Join us as we discuss challenges for evidence-based policymaking in an international context, as well as ways young practitioners can engage in science policy discussions at the global level and upcoming opportunities.

In addition, we're looking for people interested in getting involved in SPI leadership next year! The current exec board will be speaking about our positions at the meeting, and we will be opening up nominations soon afterwards. Feel free to reach out to any of us with questions and stay tuned for more information.

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Mar
16
5:30pm 5:30pm

Boston-Cambridge Science Policy Happy Hour

This event is organized by the group Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP). ESEP's happy hours are informal networking and engagement opportunities for professionals, students, academics, and enthusiasts - at all career levels - who share an interest in science policy and communication. Come have a drink and meet members of ESEP! 

To join the mailing list to receive Boston happy hour notices, see their webpage: http://science-engage.org/happyhoursboston.html

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Mar
13
6:00pm 6:00pm

March Monthly Meeting

Discussion: Advocating for Science in the Age of Trump

56-180

Dinner provided for attendees!

Many US scientists, spurred by what they see as "anti-science" remarks and appointments from the Trump administration, are taking political action. At the same time, others worry that further politicization of science will be detrimental. How can we help maintain broad support for science and science-based policymaking? We will talk about initiatives such as the upcoming March for Science (promoted as a nonpartisan event) and groups like 314 Action (which will support only Democrat scientists running for political office). Bring your thoughts, concerns, questions, and an open mind for discussion!

 

Additional reading:

Researchers should reach beyond the science bubble (Nature editorial)

How to declare war on coal's emissions without declaring war on coal communities (Maria Zuber, MIT VP for Research writing in the Washington Post)

Looking Back at Canada's Political Fight Over Science (The Atlantic)

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Feb
19
9:00am 9:00am

AAAS Conference Event: Opportunities in Science Policy, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowships

This workshop explores opportunities for scientists and engineers to apply their training to national and international initiatives, contribute to the policymaking process, and identify transferable skills for a successful career in science policy. Attendees will delve into opportunities to contribute scientific and technological innovation and leadership and help design and execute solutions to address societal challenges, and discuss the rewards of broad science engagement. The workshop underscores the influence of science and innovation on the policymaking process and the impacts of policymaking on the scientific enterprise while providing strategies and resources to learn and engage in policy across career stages. More information is available online here: https://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2017/webprogram/Session15488.html

Location: Room 207 (Hynes Convention Center)

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Feb
17
3:00pm 3:00pm

AAAS Conference Event: MIT SPI Panel: How Early Career Scientists Can Serve Science Through Policy

This panel for the AAAS Conference has been organized by MIT SPI. Panelists include Noelle Selin (Professor, MIT), John Gavenonis (Manager, DuPont R&D) and Paula Garcia (Energy Analyst, UCS).

Location: Room 207, Hynes Convention Center

Submit your questions here: https://goo.gl/forms/sYU0dEPGsAVGnz9t1

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Feb
16
1:00pm 1:00pm

AAAS Conference Event: Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Townhall

Join other scientists, engineers, and students for a town hall-style meeting with the organizers of the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting sessions related to policy and communication, to help connect the different sessions to one another. ESEP, an ad-hoc coalition of organizations, aims to empower scientists and engineers to effectively engage in the policymaking process at all levels of government. More information is available online at https://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2017/webprogram/Session16268.html

Location: Ballroom A (Hynes Convention Center)

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Feb
15
1:00pm 1:00pm

AAAS Conference Event: Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering Workshop

This entry-level workshop is for upper-class undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning about the role of science in policymaking. The workshop will introduce the U.S. federal policymaking process and empower students with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers. Pre-registration required.

More information and registration are available here: https://aaas.confex.com/aaas/2017/webprogram/Session16150.html

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Feb
13
6:00pm 6:00pm

February Monthly Meeting

Discussion: The Future of Nuclear Energy in the U.S.

with Daniel Curtis, PhD candidate in Nuclear Science and Engineering, chair of the GSC External Affairs Board

Monday, February 13, 2017

6:00–7:30 pm

56-180

Dinner provided for attendees!

Nuclear reactors are the largest source of zero-emissions power in the U.S., but concerns about safety and cost continue to fuel detractors. What will the future of nuclear energy look like in the U.S.? Will the Trump administration, which has shown interest in aiding nuclear power, bode well for the nuclear industry (despite skepticism regarding climate change)? In the longer term, what is the outlook on new plants and new technologies? How should spending be prioritized between subsidizing nuclear and renewables?

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Jan
23
to Jan 27

Science Policy Bootcamp

Science and technology public policy shapes the education, research, and innovation system that is vital for economic growth and improvements in societal well-being. This five-day seminar, taught by MIT Washington, D.C. Office Director Bill Bonvillian, will examine the policy decisions behind, and the government’s role in the science and technology based innovation system. Given the challenges to future federal science support, this seminar will also aim to equip those planning careers in and around science and technology with the basic background for involvement in science policy-making. Undergraduate and graduate students from all faculties are welcome. Learn more about this opportunity here.

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Dec
12
6:00pm 6:00pm

December Monthly Meeting

Discussion: Social, Ethical, and Regulatory Obstacles Facing Self-Driving Cars

with Edmond Awad, MIT Media Lab

6:00–7:30 pm

56-162

Free dinner and drinks provided!

 

Proponents of self-driving cars, such as President Obama, assure us they will be safer and more efficient than today's cars. However, many questions still remain regarding their widespread adoption. Imagine a scenario where the only way a car can avoid running over a group of pedestrians is to swerve into a wall. Sacrificing itself and its passenger may be safer in terms of fewer lives lost, but would you buy such a vehicle? Research from MIT shows that most people would not. Should the algorithms behind such decisions be regulated, and if so, on what basis? If self-driving cars are safer than human drivers, should manual driving be outlawed? We will be joined by Edmond Awad, a graduate student in the MIT Media Lab, to discuss these questions and more.

 

Additional resources:

Moral Machine - interactive website where you get to decide what the self-driving car should do.

Self-Driving Cars Gain Powerful Ally: The Government (New York Times)

What to Know Before You Get in a Self-Driving Car (MIT Technology Review)

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