Become a Fellow! Deadline Dec. 31st
ACS Science Policy Fellow, 2010-2011
See Brittany’s profile on LinkedIn.
Brittany is the Science Policy Fellow with the American Chemical Society’s Office of Public Affairs. As a fellow, she is working closely with ACS government affairs staff on energy, environment, and science policy issues, using her background as a scientist to help understand policy issues which are a complex mixture of science, technology, economics, policy, and politics. Prior to becoming a fellow, Brittany earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in June 2010. Her doctoral work, under the direction of Dr. John Papanikolas, focused on light-driven electron-proton transfer. She has worked with the North Carolina Local Section Government Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill and district visits with Representative Price (D-NC). In addition, she has done hands-on experiments for K – 8 students while working at Augusta Georgia’s Fort Discovery and serving as a Graduate Assistantship in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellow.
Working in the Office of Public Affairs with the Public Policy and Federal Affairs groups I have assisted with the development and writing of ACS policy statements and staff policy summaries. In addition, I managed the writing group for the Scientific Insight and Integrity Policy Statement that will go before the Board of Directors for a vote this Fall. I have also drafted letters on behalf of the ACS in response to the Call for Comments from the Department of the Interior on their Scientific Integrity Statement and from the National Science Foundation on their Merit Review Process.
To assist OPA with decisions on where to focus their attention with regard to scientific funding, I have analyzed the Presidential Budget Request and created funding spreadsheets for the programs that support chemistry research. I was also responsible for compiling the current year’s budget information (FY 2012) and wrote the chemistry chapter for the FY2012 AAAS R&D book, which is distributed to members of Congress and the DC policy community. I assisted with a wide range of tasks and assignments to keep OPA running smoothly, as well as providing scientific advice and research when needed.
I worked to help stay on top of policy issues for OPA by reading and attending events. I have attended many Advisory Committee meetings for federal agencies. From these meetings I gained an inside look at where the agency was focusing their research goals. During the budget season, I gained information on the individual agencies budget expectations and what they anticipate for research funding. My attendance provides an opportunity to make connections for ACS OPA and also shows the agencies an interest from the chemical sciences in their programs. In addition, I have attended many House and Senate hearings. My attendance at these hearings allows OPA to be aware of tone and feel of the committees and subcommittees as well as what questions and concerns are raised by individual members and issue stakeholders. This insight helps the federal affairs and advocacy teams anticipate interests of congressional members. It also provides me with an invaluable opportunity to see the politics and nuances behind the issues and laws being debated in Congress.
To assist ACS in their ongoing Science in the Congress program, I have provided scientific advice and research for the program and have worked to develop a deeper understanding of the individual policy issues. I have has helped write introduction materials for the briefings as well as researching speakers. I also helped with the day-of tasks of hosting and coordinating speakers, catering, and handout material. In addition, I attended events to collect briefing ideas, information, and leads for potential briefing speakers.
For my Fellowship project and to support the OPA office with information, I am focusing on Energy Issues and Policy. I have been researching energy issues and I am working on collecting information on many types of energy as well as the pros and cons of the different energy types. I am also reading and attending events to gain an appreciation for the regional nature of the different energy proponents as well as the history behind the forces, politics, and opinions that favor one type of energy over another. These events include a range of activities from Department of Energy Advisory Committee meetings to Congressional Hearings and Briefings for Congressional Staff on the Hill.
I am also working to help with the ACS Presidential Roundtable on Sustainable Manufacturing with the 2011 ACS President, Nancy Jackson. I have been helping the roundtable calculate energy savings from implementing sustainable and energy saving practices into the industrial manufacturing sector. In addition I am collecting references and documents to assist the task force in their writing mission.
In outreach to ACS members, I attend policy, funding, and scientific events and report for the blog. I helped with content and scientific advice for the new sustainability website. I also worked at the booth at both the Anaheim and Denver National ACS meetings. This gave me the opportunity to talk to members about all of the things that OPA does for the society and the many ways that ACS members can get involved. I also worked as the staff liaison to the PET recycling group who successfully planned and carried out a symposium at the Denver National Meeting.