Physics PhD students Vetri Velan and QinQin Yu traveled to Washington DC to attend the AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering Conference from March 24-29, 2019, along with UC Berkeley PhD students Erin Sullivan (chemistry) and Eric Lee (infectious diseases and immunity). The conference brought together STEM graduate students from across the US to learn about how scientists can better engage in policy, including effectively advocating for science research funding and providing expertise on policy issues. The conference culminated in a day on Capitol Hill, where Vetri, QinQin, Erin, and Eric met with congressional offices to advocate for the highest possible levels of funding for scientific research in fiscal year 2020 and to talk about their own PhD research. They met with the offices of: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), , Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (WI), Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3), and Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ-9).
The four UCB students will be giving two lessons learned workshops for the general UC Berkeley community on Tuesday, April 23, 6-7:30pm in 375 LeConte, and on Wednesday, May 2, 12-1:30pm in Anthony Hall. Please RSVP here for April 23 and here for May 2.
Vetri and QinQin's attendance at the conference were made possible by financial support from the Physics Department, the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division in the College of Letters and Sciences, Lawrence Berkeley Labs Physics Division, and the Graduate Division.
Above: Vetri Velan (UCB Physics), Eric Lee (UCB Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology), Erin Sullivan (UCB Chemistry), QinQin Yu (UCB Physics) in front of Rep Eric Swalwell's office