“Start small-and local”, “learn about policy issues impacting what you care about”, and “don’t let perfect be an enemy of good” are some of the bits of advice that Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax offered to the group of over 150 attendees (43% of which are first-time ASPB participants!) at the virtual workshop on Perspectives on Science Leadership and Policy, hosted by the ASPB Women in Plant Biology (WiPB) committee.

Sharlene is the Associate Director of Science for Biological and Environmental Research (BER) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). After sharing her personal path to a science leader position, Sharlene touched on what science leadership and science policy entail and things that had worked or didn’t work in her leadership role (Sharlene’s presentation is attached). The workshop participants were assigned to breakout rooms to discuss 1) their top policy concerns, and 2) the actions that they take to develop their inner leader. There were many vivid discussions among breakout room participants. The survey responses from the breakout discussions are attached. We understand that there was not enough time to go over all the comments during the workshop and hope that we can extend the discussions in this Plantae thread. We are also planning a virtual networking session with Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax after the ASPB meeting to continue discussions on science leadership and policy. Please watch this post for an update on the networking session.

In addition to Sharlene’s keynote presentation, Laura Wayne, Chair of WiPB committee, shared with the workshop attendees the mission and goals of the committee and highlighted some of the activities spearheaded by WiPB in the past year. The Committee is grateful for the excellent contributions by Katie Murphy, the Early Career Representative (ECR), during the last two years and encourages our young colleagues to apply for the open ECR position on WiPB (deadline on August 14th, 2020). Kelly Gillespie (member of WiPB) congratulated the 2020 Sharon Gray Women’s Young Investigator Travel Awardees.

The workshop was coordinated by Li Tian (member of WiPB committee) and moderated by Cody Bekkering (graduate student in Plant Biology at UC Davis). Thank you Cody for a fantastic job in moderating the session!


Survey responses

ASPB Science Policy Poll Responses.xlsx

Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax's presentation

Dr.Weatherwax_Presentation.pdf (1)