We want to recognize some amazing NSPN members who have dedicated time to making sure our community flourishes. This past month, we have new leadership coming into our four regional hubs. To celebrate the transition, we invited both the outgoing and incoming regional hub chairs to share about themselves and what they have done or have in store for the National Science Policy Network.
Kathy Shield, outgoing Western Hub Co-Chair
- What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?
Bringing new chapters into the Western Hub has been wonderful. I loved seeing groups grow with help from one another and connecting individuals to each other for all sorts of reasons.
- How has the hub grown during your tenure?
We went from nonexistent to #WestCostBestCoast! But actually, the Hub has a culture and community, and I’m so proud to have contributed to that.
I’m still part of NSPN leadership as the Diplomacy Committee Chair, and I’m hoping to get back into activities with the UC Berkeley Science Policy Group. I have 12-16 months left in my Ph.D., so I’m starting to think about postdoc positions, and how I can keep working both at the bench and in policy.
Eric Lee, incoming Western Hub Co-Chair
- What is the most satisfying thing you have done in the realm of science policy?
Last year, I worked with Assemblymember Bill Quirk to run California Assembly Bill 1178, which was based on an idea I proposed for a UC system-wide competition and aimed to increase labeling standards for over-the-counter probiotic supplements. The bill ultimately failed in the second chamber of the CA legislature, but along the way I helped write background documents and testified as an expert witness in both health committee hearings. It was exciting to leverage my scientific background as a microbiologist and see how it could be applied to new policies.
- As you are stepping up to the position as a Regional Hub Co-Chair, what are you excited about doing in and with the Hub?
Generally speaking, I'm excited to finally step into a leadership position! I've been involved with the UC Berkeley NSPN chapter for years, and like to think that I've learned something worth sharing along the way. In particular, I'm interested in working with other West chapters to develop their organizations, using some of the lessons learned from Berkeley over the years.
- What are your interests/passions in the realm of science policy?
My primary interests are related to infectious diseases and global health. Due to the very immediate and personal nature of any type of health policy though, I've also developed an interest in science communication and finding ways to communicate disease-related research to people of all backgrounds.
Make sure to check out the other regional hubs and their regional leadership!