What is science policy?


Science policy is science communication – communicating science to

policy makers, and communicating policy to scientists.  For example,

many elected officials are not experts in science, so they hire expert

advisors to provide balanced scientific information about all sides of

the issues, in order to allow them to make an informed vote.  Many

government agencies use analysts to turn policy into rules and

regulations that must be communicated and applied to all interested

parties. Science policy positions exist not only in the federal

government (mostly in the legislative and executive branches, but

some in the judicial as well), but also in state governments,

professional organizations, scientific societies, non-governmental

organizations, lobbying groups, and even independent think-tanks.

Interactions with state or local agencies may involve providing advice.

The MSU Scicomm Science Policy Committee offers opportunities

and trains to scientist to get involved in science policy.  In the Spring

of 2020 we will offer the following events:



  • Science Policy Circles this semester will have a small presentation to discuss the selected science policy topic and after that discussion will be lead. Attendees are encouraged to stay involved after each Policy Circle by signing up to write a policy memo on the topic for the Journal of Science Policy and Governance Policy Memo Competition

    • Location: TBA (Pending Engineering Seminar Room #)




  • Thursday 12 pm February 6th Policy Circles: Climate Change



  • Thursday 12 pm March 12th Policy Circle: Food and Agriculture

  • Thursday 12 pm March 26th Panel with Scientists with Federal Appointments 



  • Thursday 12 pm April 9th Policy Circle: Energy and Natural Resources

  • Lansing Capitol Hill Legislative Education Day April 16th

Want to volunteer or help plan exciting science policy events from the MSU and Greater Lansing community? Email the MSU SciComm Science Policy Chair, Vanessa Garcia Polanco at msuscicomm.scipolicy@gmail.com. Want to get started? Explore the following resources to learn how you can promote science policy as a scientist. Looking for resources to engage in science policy? Reach out to our team with questions and suggestions!


  1. Scientist Advocacy Activity Kit from the Union of Concerned Scientists 

  2. Evidence-Based Science Communication with Policymakers Project by American University

  3. An Elected Official or Decision Maker 

  4. Members of the Public 

  5. Individuals


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

Sign up for our mailing list and we'll inform you of updates, events, and more. 

Copyright © 2020 MSU SciComm.