SPI Events

Monthly Meetings: Once a month we have dinner and discuss a science and technology policy issue! More information here: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/monthlymeetings/

Science Policy Bootcamp: Every IAP we host a weeklong crash course on science and policy issues. More information here: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/bootcamp/

Executive Visit Days: Every fall semester, we send students to DC to meet with various executive agencies in Washington DC. More information here: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/exvd/

Congressional Visit Days: Every spring semester, we send students to DC to meet with Congressional offices and advocate for science and technology policy issues. More information here: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/cvd/

Other Events and Opportunities

Here are a variety of events and opportunities for MIT students. If you know of another one that should be listed here, please let us know using our form: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/contact/

MIT Graduate Certificate Program in Science, Technology, and Policy

When: Rolling application

Who: Run by the Technology and Policy Program here at MIT.

How do I get involved: All science and engineering PhD students who have passed their qualifying exams are eligible. Application instructions are available here: http://tpp.mit.edu/index.php/home/masters-program/stp-certificate-program/

Description: The MIT Certificate Program in Science, Technology and Policy (STP) seeks to complement the outstanding academic experience MIT currently provides to its science and engineering PhD students with a rigorous introduction to the social and policy contexts in which their research is embedded. The required curriculum provides a coherent, rigorous introduction to the STP arena that can be reasonably integrated with the traditional PhD workload.

AAAS CASE

When: Every Spring Semester

Who: Hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

How do I get involved: Applications are handled through SPI and the GSC External Affairs Board. Contact SPI using our form here: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/contact/ Contact GSC EAB at gsc-eab-fed@mit.edu

Description: CASE (Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering) is an entry-level program designed to educate STEM students who are interested in learning about the role of science in policy-making, to introduce them to the federal policy-making process, and to empower them with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers.  The workshop is designed for students in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with limited experience and knowledge of science policy and advocacy who want to learn more about science policy. Students participate in a three-and-a-half day program in Washington, DC.. Specifically, you must be available to travel on Sunday, March 24th early enough to get to DC before 5pm. Your return to Boston will happen Wednesday night. Participants will learn about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations processes, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement.  In addition, students will participate in interactive seminars about policy-making and communication. On the last day of the program, students will have the option to form teams and conduct meetings with their elected Members of Congress and congressional staff. More information about CASE is available here: https://www.aaas.org/programs/catalyzing-advocacy-in-science-and-engineering

ESEP Science Policy Happy Hours

When: Once a month.

How do I get involved: To join the mailing list to receive Boston happy hour notices, see their webpage: http://science-engage.org/happyhour-boston.html

Description: 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!

NAGPS Legislative Action Days

When: Once a semester

How do I get involved: The MIT delegation is managed by the GSC’s External Affairs Board. For more information, contact gsc-eab-fed@mit.edu

Description: The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) is a student-run national, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of graduate & professional students across the United States.  Founded by student leaders in 1987, NAGPS is the only national organization that represents the interests of graduate & professional students in public and private universities at local, state, regional and national levels. Once a semester, delegates from schools across the country gather in DC for the NAGPs Legislative Action Days (LAD). During LAD, students learn about a variety of issues facing graduate students, network with their peers, and visit congressional offices to advocate for their interests.

GSC Statehouse Visits

When: 1-2 times per year, depending on the Massachusetts legislative schedule

How do I get involved: These trips are organized by the GSC’s External Affairs Board. For more information, contact gsc-eab-state@mit.edu

Description: MIT graduate students head across the river into Boston to meet with Massachusetts state legislators to discuss a variety of issues facing us.

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

When: Every other year (odd numbered years) in the fall

Who: Georgia Tech’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy program

How do I get involved: Visit their website here: http://www.atlconf.org/

Description: A longstanding, multidisciplinary conference dedicated to science policy

Science and Technology Policy Classes at MIT

MIT is fortunate enough to have numerous classes on a variety of science and technology policy issues. Below are a few highlights. Keep in mind that classes come and go, so these might not be available any more. If you have any updates for us, or know of a class that should be listed here, please let us know using our form:  https://mitspi.squarespace.com/contact/

General / Survey Classes

IDS.412 / 17.310 / STS.482

Title: Science, Technology, and Public Policy

Description: A rapid-paced survey of a wide variety of science and technology policy issues, as well as some political economy frameworks for approaching them.

IDS.435 / 15.655

Title: Law, Technology, and Public Policy

Description: A survey of a variety of science and technology policy issues from a legal perspective. Examines how laws and regulations are made, and what impact they have on technological change and implementation.

IDS.410

Title: Modeling and Assessment for Policy

Description: Explores how scientific information and quantitative models can be used to inform policy decision-making. Develops an understanding of quantitative modeling techniques and their role in the policy process through case studies and interactive activities.

IDS.411

Title: Concepts and Research In Technology and Policy

Description: An examination of the various moral, ethical, societal, and practical considerations underlying technology policy with a focus on the role that the scientist and engineer play in guiding policy.

17.925

Title:  Fundamentals of Science and Technology Public Policy Making: Science and Technology Policy Boot Camp

Description: This is the SPI IAP Bootcamp! For more information see: https://mitspi.squarespace.com/bootcamp/

Environment

12.885 / 11.373

Title: Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy

Description: Examines the role of science in US and international environmental policymaking. Surveys the methods by which scientists learn about the natural world; the treatment of science by experts, advocates, the media, and the public and the way science is used in legislative, administrative and judicial decision making.

11.601

Title: Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning

Description: An introductory course for those interested in environmental policymaking and the practice of environmental planning. Taught comparatively, with numerous references to examples from around the world.

IDS.540 / 1.811 / 11.630 / 15.663

Title: Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control

Description: Reviews and analyzes federal and state regulation of air and water pollution, hazardous waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and the production and use of toxic chemicals. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and the failure of markets. Explores the role of science and economics in legal decisions. Emphasizes use of legal mechanisms and alternative approaches (such as economic incentives and voluntary approaches) to control pollution and encourage chemical accident and pollution prevention.

12.846 / IDS.525

Title: Global Environmental Negotiations

Description: Practical introduction to global environmental negotiations designed for science and engineering students. Covers basic issues in international negotiations, such as North-South conflict, implementation and compliance, trade, and historical perspective on global environmental treaties.

14.420

Title: Environmental Policy and Economics

Description: Investigates the proper role of government in the regulation of the environment. Presents tools necessary to estimate the costs and benefits of a variety of environmental policies. Focuses on both conceptual thinking and quantitative evaluation of environmental issues. Gives particular attention to climate change: defines the major concepts underlying the climate problem; examines the measurement of climate damages as well as the costs of mitigating them; and discusses the various policy options available to communities, countries, and international coalitions.

12.848 / 15.023

Title: Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy

Description: Introduces scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response. Develops an integrated approach to analysis of climate change processes, and assessment of proposed policy measures.

1.253 / 11.543

Title: Transportation Policy, the Environment, and Livable Communities

Description: Examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. Investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as a facilitator of economic development and environmental sustainability. Analyzes a variety of international policy problems, including government-business relations, the role of interest groups, non-governmental organizations, and the public and media in the regulation of the automobile; sustainable development; global warming; politics of risk and siting of transport facilities; environmental justice; equity; as well as transportation and public health in the urban metropolis.

17.182

Title: Sustainability: Political Economy, Science, and Policy

Description: Examines alternative conceptions and theoretical underpinnings of sustainable development. Focuses on the sustainability problems of industrial countries, and of developing states and economies in transition. Explores the sociology of knowledge regarding sustainability, the economic and technological dimensions, and institutional imperatives.

11.368

Title: Environmental Justice: Law and Policy

Description: Introduces frameworks for analyzing and addressing inequalities in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Explores the foundations and principles of the environmental justice movement from the perspectives of social science, public policy, and law. Applies environmental justice principles to contemporary issues in urban policy and planning.

Energy

14.444

Title: Energy Economics and Policy

Description: Theoretical and empirical perspectives on individual and industrial demand for energy, energy supply, energy markets, and public policies affecting energy markets. Discusses aspects of the oil, natural gas, electricity, and nuclear power sectors. Examines energy tax, price regulation, deregulation, energy efficiency and policies for controlling pollution and CO2 emissions.

22.813 / 5.00 / 6.929 / 10.579

Title: Energy Technology and Policy: From Principles to Practice

Description: Develops analytical skills to lead a successful technology implementation with an integrated approach that combines technical, economical and social perspectives. Considers corporate and government viewpoints as well as international aspects, such as nuclear weapons proliferation and global climate issues. Discusses technologies such as oil and gas, nuclear, solar, and energy efficiency.

Nuclear

22.814

Title: Nuclear Weapons and International Security

Description: Examines the historical, political, and technical contexts for nuclear policy making, including the development of nuclear weapons by states, the evolution of nuclear strategy, the role nuclear weapons play in international politics, the risks posed by nuclear arsenals, and the policies and strategies in place to mitigate those risks.

Manufacturing

17.395 / STS.081

Title: Innovation Systems for Science, Technology, Energy, Manufacturing, and Health

Description: Taught by the former director of the MIT DC Office, this class examines science and technology innovation systems, including case studies on energy, computing, advanced manufacturing, and health sectors. Emphasizes public policy and the federal government's role in that system.

Aerospace

16.715

Title: Aerospace, Energy, and the Environment

Description: Addresses energy and environmental challenges facing aerospace in the 21st century. Topics include: aircraft performance and energy requirements, propulsion technologies, jet fuels and alternative fuels, lifecycle assessment of fuels, combustion, emissions, climate change due to aviation, aircraft contrails, air pollution impacts of aviation, impacts of supersonic aircraft, and aviation noise. Includes an in-depth introduction to the relevant atmospheric and combustion physics and chemistry with no prior knowledge assumed. Discussion and analysis of near-term technological, fuel-based, regulatory and operational mitigation options for aviation, and longer-term technical possibilities.

Health

17.395 / STS.081

Title: Innovation Systems for Science, Technology, Energy, Manufacturing, and Health

Description: Taught by the former director of the MIT DC Office, this class examines science and technology innovation systems, including case studies on energy, computing, advanced manufacturing, and health sectors. Emphasizes public policy and the federal government's role in that system.

1.812 / 11.631 / IDS.541

Title: Regulation of Chemicals, Radiation, and Biotechnology

Description: Focuses on policy design and evaluation in the regulation of hazardous substances and processes. Includes risk assessment, industrial chemicals, pesticides, food contaminants, pharmaceuticals, radiation and radioactive wastes, product safety, workplace hazards, indoor air pollution, biotechnology, victims' compensation, and administrative law.

IDS.620 / 7.547 / 10.547 / 15.136 / HST.920

Title: Principles and Practice of Drug Development

Description: Description and critical assessment of the major issues and stages of developing a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical. Drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical investigation, manufacturing and regulatory issues considered for small and large molecules. Economic and financial considerations of the drug development process.

Networks & Computing

STS.487

Title: Foundations of Information Policy

Description: Studies the growth of computer and communications technology and the new legal and ethical challenges that reflect tensions between individual rights and societal needs. Topics include computer crime; intellectual property restrictions on software; encryption, privacy, and national security; academic freedom and free speech.

17.446

Title: International Relations Theory in the Cyber Age

Description: Examines cyber dynamics and processes in international relations from different theoretical perspectives. Considers alternative theoretical and empirical frameworks consistent with characteristic features of cyberspace and emergent transformations at all levels of international interaction.

17.448

Title: Cybersecurity

Description: Focuses on the complexity of cybersecurity in a changing world. Examines national and international aspects of overall cyber ecology. Explores sources and consequences of cyber threats and different types of damages. Considers impacts for and of various aspects of cybersecurity in diverse geostrategic, political, business and economic contexts.

Transportation

1.253 / 11.543

Title: Transportation Policy, the Environment, and Livable Communities

Description: Examines the economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment. Investigates the role of government regulation, green business and transportation policy as a facilitator of economic development and environmental sustainability. Analyzes a variety of international policy problems, including government-business relations, the role of interest groups, non-governmental organizations, and the public and media in the regulation of the automobile; sustainable development; global warming; politics of risk and siting of transport facilities; environmental justice; equity; as well as transportation and public health in the urban metropolis.