'We academics must see ourselves as integral players in building a more interconnected and resilient society' Twitter
Kira Lawerence, John H. Markle Professor and chair of the College’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, has a piece published in Academe Blog, in which she urges STEM faculty to serve as policy fellows.
Lawrence is currently an Eagleton Science and Politics Fellow at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The program, which is administered by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, enables Ph.D.-level scientists the opportunity to share their expertise with New Jersey state policy makers and government officials to advance state initiatives and enables fellows to learn about how public policy takes shape.
Lawrence, a climate scientist and New Jersey resident, is working on sabbatical to help inform climate-related policy within the Division of Clean Energy at the state’s Board of Public Utilities, which has been tasked with many of the elements of New Jersey’s clean-energy transition.
In her piece, Lawrence shares that the fellowship has been deeply rewarding. It has provided her the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to society while also helping her gain knowledge she will be able to share with her Lafayette College students when she returns to the classroom.
“We academics must see ourselves as integral players in building a more interconnected and resilient society,” she writes. “Our institutions must embrace this chance to lead by building a more flexible model of faculty contributions that rewards faculty for using their expertise in novel ways to directly support better policy making. We cannot sit this one out. The time for higher educational institutions and our faculty to step up is now. Our society and our students are counting on us.”