Each month, we highlight a AAAS member who is a force for science. To find out how you can be a force for science, visit www.forceforscience.org.
Jennifer Tribble is a Postdoctoral Scholar with Duke University Science & Society leading Neuroscience and Genetics/Genomics policy coverage with SciPol.org. Prior to this position, she completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from UCLA. Jennifer is passionate about science policy and science communication, which led her to co-found and serve as President of the Science Policy Group at UCLA during graduate school. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys baking and spending time outdoors.
What science advocacy activity are you most proud of?
Last spring, I helped organize and execute a week-long activity called Science Advocacy Week with the Science Policy Group at UCLA. Our first event was a high-level interactive session focused on how the budget and legislative process works in the California government. Then, we followed up with an application-based workshop teaching critical science communication and science advocacy skills. Finally, workshop attendees visited local district offices of our California representatives to discuss relevant science policy issues including opioid and microplastics legislation under consideration in the California legislature.
Share a Web link/video/blog etc. that you’ve thought was especially compelling at communicating science.
As a graduate student, I wrote and edited for knowingneurons.com, a neuroscience educational site focused on communicating neuroscience to the public.
Read a book you are dying to tell your peers about? Give us a brief summary and why you love it.
I recently read “Merchants of Doubt” by Naomi Oreskes, a book that outlines how economic and political forces have led to a successful campaign of sowing doubt in the public regarding the scientific consensus of anthropogenic climate change. It’s a must-read!
If you could pick one scientist (living or dead) to have dinner with, who would it be and why?
I would choose to have dinner with Jennifer Doudna, who was a fundamental piece of the team who developed CRISPR-mediated genome editing. Outside of her role model status as a pioneering female scientist, I would love to engage in an ethical and philosophical discussion about the future of gene editing with her.
What advice do you have for those who’d like to get started advocating for science?
Don’t underestimate what can be done locally! For the majority of people who live away from Washington, D.C., there is still an incredible amount of science advocacy that can be done where you live. Consider engaging with local or state government, or organize a time to get together and call your representatives in D.C.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are those of the AAAS member and are not necessarily the opinions of AAAS, its officers, general members, and/or AAAS Membership department or staff.