Ongoing political debates around the world have highlighted an important concept. Sometimes people make decisions based on strongly held beliefs, and not necessarily on facts. We are due to make a few decisions of our own this year—decisions that may affect funding for basic science. How do we, as scientists and science communicators, ensure that the general public understands the importance of biomedical research?
We can do what we do best. Talk about science.
As people working in a Federal agency, we have to be careful not to engage in political or policy activities (check with the Ethics Office). But by attending the next NIH poster day, joining an outreach group on campus, or talking about your research with nonscientists, it will remind those around you what you do and why you do it. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of networking while doing something you enjoy.
Take a look at our “Interesting Opportunity” column this month, where Drs. Ajay Sharma and Mahua Mukhopadhyay discuss various activities of the NICHD Green Team. The group provides an exciting way to interact with the public. For fellows who are thinking about next career moves, the Green Team’s members come from scientific review, administration, science policy, research, and more. Talk about a networking opportunity!
You’ll find that getting involved is a common ingredient in recipes for success. Check out the top three questions and answers from the 2016 annual retreat round table career discussions, where several former fellows highlight the activities that helped them find their current positions. Following the Q&As, you’ll find several award announcements, made possible by fellows participating in our communication competition, mentoring activities, and NIH Poster Day.
So, how do you want to get involved?
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Please send questions, comments, and ideas to Shana.Spindler@gmail.com.