We will plan three high profile, public events around the country during 2019 to highlight the impact of diversifying policy perspectives and considerations as they relate to several contemporary “grand challenges” in science, engineering, and medicine. By bringing together beneficiaries of programs designed either to expose emerging scientists, engineers, and medical professionals to science policy or to enhance and support underrepresented populations (and some programs designed to do both), around focused science policy questions, we will explore the impact of specific perspectives as well as the programs themselves. The grand challenge of each event will be on a current research topic in science policy, such as climate science, innovation and entrepreneurship, or health equity, although the specific themes of each event will be determined in consultation with collaborating groups and advisors. A primary focus for all three events will be on the benefits of considering diverse perspectives on these issues as they relate to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the scientific enterprise.
Care will be taken to structure the events to include perspectives from alumni and current members of the Ford Foundation Fellows, the Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellows, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellows, the Gulf Research Program Fellows, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Awardees, and members of the New Voices Program, among others. Local representatives of these programs will be among the featured discussants. However, participation as discussants will not be limited only to representatives of those groups, as the goal will be to highlight the experiences of a wide range of diverse scientists, engineers, medical professionals, educators, business leaders, and policy leaders.
Invited participants will include educators, policymakers, industry leaders, the media, sponsors, and others from the local communities—and will include targeted invitees from diverse communities. In addition, NAS, NAM, and NAE members will be invited and encouraged to attend. For example, we will use our traditional "mailing lists" to invite participants, but will specifically target the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Congressional Women's Caucus for the three events.
All of the events will be webcast and a summary of the events will be produced and published in a report at the end of 2019. Ultimately, we hope to work with the collaborating groups and advisors to either develop specific projects or continue the series of discussions.