Friday, June 24, 2016By:
Monday I was in office, learning about the FYI twitter (go check it out @fyiscipolicy) and tweetdeck (who knew so many companies/agencies/congress people used twitter as a source of giving and recieving information?? not me). I also was recruited to figure out which FYI’s had images and/or charts and of those images and/or charts if they would make a good thumbnail photo for the webpage. FYI is in the proccess of spiffing up their website and I'm excited to watch the changes happen.
Tuesday I came into the office for the morning before leaving around lunch time to head over to a succession of coalition meetings: CNSR (Coalition of National Security Research), ESC (Energy Sciences Coalition), and CNSF (Coalition for National Science Funding). My acronym vocabulary just keeps expanding! It was awesome seeing all of these scientists and universites and organizations come together and discuss policy and advocating for science. I was convinced that an intern at those meetings looked oddly familiar, but I couldn't figure out from where, so I asked my friends from home if they recognized the name “Ben Keller." We finally deduced that I did know who he was just in time to say hi before the meeting ended. Afterwards it was lightly raining outside, which to me justified uber-pooling home (the closest metro stop was quite a hike and buses and me never seem to get along) and in the end it turned out to be less than the metro would’ve cost…. Love when that happens. About half an hour after I got home, poor Victoria walked in the door soaking wet from walking from the Woodley Park metro station. Turns out I had gotten back just in time. It thundered and poured for about three hours and so I forgot all plans of going outside and jumped into bed and got cozy with some netflix (my current obsession is Gilmore Girls).
Wednesday I attended an IEEE Research Regulation event in the Rayburn House Building. One of my friends on the sailing team from school is working over in Cannon and so shortly before the event I texted her and told her that she should come to the event - and that there was gonna be free lunch. I think that convinced her. I had no idea how much regulatory stuff goes into researchers who use federal grants. One of the speakers mentioned a survey that said 42% of researchers time is spent on “admin-like” activities. That’s crazy! I then had a few hours to kill before my next event so I metroed over to Foggy Bottom earlier and walked around the GW area for a bit. I stopped at a farmers market and poked my head into a few stores before heading to the Elliott building. The night event was a discussion and book signing of Shawn Otto’s latest book “The War on Science.” He gave an excellent presentation on how there is in fact a war on sciences, how that came to be, and what we can do to help - complete with clips from politicians speaking on scientific issues and being so unbelievably far off. It was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. Only 2% on Congress has a science background.... and science and policy are very intertwined these days.
Thursday I was in the office again, picking out images to use for the FYI articles and doing some research. We went to the Congressional baseball game after work with most of the interns and Courtney and Brad. It was a good time, plus we got to try out Courtney’s favorite ice cream place (which might be my favorite ice cream place now too). It’s called Jubilee and has the most original flavors I've ever seen - from "Gin and Tonic" to "Caramel Popcorn." And, get this, they taste EXACTLY like their name. I obviously had to try far too many flavors before picking "Honey Lemon Lavender" and "Cookies and Cookies and Cream." Cookies and Cookies and Cream is hands down the best flavor of ice cream I've ever had ever. Did I mention ever? Below I've included an image of my ice cream as well one of Tabitha (who dropped her ice cream seconds after she got it) scooping her ice cream off of the street for your viewing. Yes, it's that good. Enjoy!
Friday I attended the Convergence: The Future of Health event in the morning at the National Academies for Science, Engineering, and Medicine building. This event was to celebrate the release of the 2016 report which emphasizes the need for convergence of the sciences, how biologists, chemists, physcists, engineers all need to be working together to solve our world's biggest problems. One of the speakers talked about how he and his team are working on regenerating limbs and are aiming to have it developed by 2030. That's only 14 years away! That afternoon I caught an Amtrak to go to Brigantine (the Jersey Shore) to visit my family for the weekend and to get some much needed beach time. I am currently writing this on the train thanks to Amtrak's (rather unreliable) wifi. Today is my littlest sister's birthday so I'm hoping to get there in time for dinner to celebrate. Shout out to Lauren if you ever read this: Happy birthday dude!!