PTYS Graduate Courses


Course Title/Description
PTYS 508

Science Policy: An Insider's Game Revealed, or, Learning to Love Science Lobbying (1)


Looking at how Washington works from outside the beltway makes it look like a confused, contentious mess, but there is an underlying order and process involved. As government policy impacts so much of our daily lives, it is important to know how to impact the process. This is increasingly true for scientists and science more generally. The government provides funding for research, sets priorities for research activities, utilizes scientific research to establish policies (or ignores science when setting policies) and ultimately plays a significant role in the growth of human knowledge. The US remains the largest funder of research among all countries, but others are rapidly increasing their investments in research, while the US is stagnating or decreasing its investments. Only by understanding the process, knowing who has power and knowing how to have an impact can scientists make a difference. Through lectures, guest speakers and discussion this once-a-week course will provide students of science, scientists, supporters of science and those interested in science policy a substantial introduction to the world of science policy and provide the knowledge necessary to influence and participate in the process. The instructor, Dr. Kevin B. Marvel, has more than 16 years of experience working in this interesting area and currently serves as the Executive Officer of the American Astronomical Society. The course will focus on many different areas of science and science policy, not just astronomy and the physical sciences. This course is co-convened with ASTR 408 and ASTR/PHYS 508. ASTR is home department.