New Science Policy Group Seeks to Train Students to Have an Impact

Graduate Division

A new Science Policy Group at UCSF will focus on educating students and others about the “mechanisms of science policy and policy-related careers,” according to the group’s co-founder, Brittany Anderton.

The group will also serve as a resource to help make change in issues they care about, Anderton, a graduate student in Biomedical Sciences, said at the inaugural meeting on March 28.                

The group will be divided into five committees overseeing the following areas: public outreach, science advocacy, educational policy, health care policy and science reform.  Potential members can choose to participate in any of these areas. To encourage a diverse group, Anderton hopes to recruit students and trainees across multiple disciplines, including those outside the graduate division.                  

The meeting featured an informative talk by Professor and Vice Chancellor of Research Keith Yamamoto.  He shared the story of his own involvement in science policy, including his role as Chairman of the Board on Life Sciences at the National Academy of Sciences and as Chair of the Coalition for the Life Sciences. 

He referred to the latter organization as a way for trainees to get involved immediately, through its monthly email network.  He also emphasized the importance of “doing good science” as a way to develop a credible voice within the world of science policy. 

He suggested that trainees choose areas of interest within science policy and then strategize on how to make an impact.  Yamamoto noted that the Science Policy Group is a great way to accomplish this.            

The next meeting of the Science Policy Group at UCSF will be held on Tuesday, April 23, at the Parnassus Campus Library in Room CL 221 and 222, and will be conducted in a workshop format, in order to introduce the subgroups in detail and to brainstorm project ideas.

If you are interested in joining the group’s listserv, email [email protected], or visit its Facebook page at