Ben Kellman, PhD student at University of California, San Diego | Source: Ben Kellman
As a fourth-year Ph.D. student at the University of California, San Diego, Ben Kellman works on the early identification of autism. Last winter, he grew concerned that travel bans and funding cuts being proposed by the Trump administration threatened international colleagues and the overall institution of science. Wary of taking sides and “painting science as a member of the opposition party,” Kellman sought an advocacy group that was nonpartisan and working to connect scientists with policymakers “to empower policymakers to make evidence-based decisions.”
“The AAAS Office of Government Relations was exactly what I was looking for, and I wanted to support them,” Kellman said. “Problem was, I’m just some guy.”
An avid cyclist, Kellman organized a bike ride from San Diego to San Francisco, shining a spotlight on the value of scientific research and raising $5,100 for AAAS.
“It isn’t a huge sum of money, but it is much more than I could have donated,” said Kellman, who says he was joined for part of the ride by some of his colleagues from the Lewis Lab for Systems Biology and Cell Engineering at UCSD. “And I now have a lot of friends who will look to AAAS for support in Washington.”
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