Event Recap: Milan Yager on Falling Out of Love with Science (video to come!)

by Erin Reagan On November 28th, the Penn Science Policy and Diplomacy Group was thrilled to welcome distinguished speaker Milan Yager, the Executive Director of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, to the University of Pennsylvania. His topic: Falling Out of Love with Science-- Why Congress Doesn't Fund Medical Innovation. Attendees heard about all the many innovations we use every day which were only made possible through generous federal funding for scientific research, from GPS technology to the iPhone screen. Mr. Yager also discussed the divide between many American voters and the scientists toiling away in their labs, as well as how to bridge the gap between the two seemingly very different worlds. Spoiler alert: the key is seeing the humanity in all people and taking time to understand each person's circumstances before casting aspersions on their opinions of things that might matter greatly to YOU but not to them. Mr. Yager concluded by

Podcast - Molly Sheehan: Bioengineer & PA Congressional Candidate

Ian interviews Molly Sheehan, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's department of bioengineering, and candidate for Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District. I chat with Molly about what it's like to run for office while still working in the lab and being a mother, her experiences so far on the campaign, what got her into politics, and her suggestions for college, graduate or medical students - or other postdocs - who are interested in getting politically engaged, but don't know where to start. Primary elections are on May 15th, 2018 General elections are on November 6th, 2018 If you're interested in volunteering for her, visit:

Opinion: Clearing the Air About Unenforceable Policies

Opinion: Clearing the Air About Unenforceable Policies by Kristina Victoreen Is a policy without enforcement really a policy, or is it just an aspiration? That question has been on my mind lately, in two different contexts, both related to the air we breathe. First, there’s Penn’s new “Tobacco-free Campus” policy. I first noticed the signs in November, when they quietly popped up here and there around campus. As someone who has spent many a lunch hour going from bench to bench all around campus in an often-vain attempt to find a place to sit and eat my lunch without having to breathe second-hand smoke, I was really excited to see those signs. But I confess I was much less excited when I went online and read the actual policy, particularly the section on enforcement. You can read it here . What it seems to say is that there is no enforcement, and if you have any questions, ask the person you report to or your Dean. In other words, Penn wants you to not smoke but

A look back at last year, and plans for 2017-2018

July 19, 2017 To the Penn Community: In the fast paced and changing world we live in it is now more important than ever for policymakers to rely on facts. Our current political climate has exposed the serious need for science informed policymaking and also the importance of maintaining and establishing collaborations with other countries. In the past year, the Penn Science Policy Group (PSPG) and the Penn Science Diplomacy Group (PSDG) have been organizing events to address this gap in our Penn and Philadelphia community. Our groups consist of graduate and undergraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows interested in learning about the intersections of science, government, and international relations. We have sought to educate the Penn community on the relationship between science and society, and to create an environment that provides scientists with the tools necessary to become effective science advocates. For these reasons, PSPG and PSDG established a strong collaboration wh

Podcast: Pipelines & Science Budgets

By: Ian McLaughlin & Liana Vaccari References: Pipelines: Science Budget:

UPenn Scientists Are Investigating Better Treatments for Sarcoma Tumors

by Adrian Rivera-Reyes and Koreana Pak Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare cancers of the connective tissues, such as bone, muscle, fat, and blood vessels. Soft and elastic, sarcoma tumors can push against their surroundings as they grow silent and undetected. Residing in an arm, torso, or thigh, it can take years before a sarcoma begins to cause pain. By the time a patient presents their tumor to a doctor, amputation may be unavoidable 1 . In 2017, it is predicted that 12,390 Americans will be diagnosed with sarcoma, and approximately 5,000 patients will die from these tumors 2 . But the vast majority of these patients aren’t dying from the first tumor in their arm or leg—the real danger is metastasis, which is responsible for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths 3-5 . Metastasis occurs when tumor cells leave their original site and colonize a new area of the body, such as the lungs, liver, or bones 3-5 . The current treatment options for sarcoma—surgery, chemotherapy,

The arguments for and against a graduate student union at Penn

Hosted By: Ian McLaughlin For more information about each of these two groups, please visit: GET-UP (pro graduate student union): Against this graduate student union effort: