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From Broadcast to Sciences, help!!!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:07 pm
by Yezika
I'm at a crossroads. I am 25 and contemplating a career in science and public policy, hopefully. But my background is in Broadcast Journalism and film, I am already applying to undergrad programs in science but I have no idea how to make this transition. Most importantly, the world of science is so extensive and interesting, that I don't know what I would like to major in, and what majjor would aid me in my goal of working in public policy in the future. I have doing massive research with very little luck. Is there a website that explores the different science career paths and where they could lead???

Dazzed and confused,
Yezika

From Broadcast to Sciences, help!!!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:32 am
by John Fetzer
That is an interesting career transition. I know of some who took the opposite route and ended up in science communications.

As far as path, I'd say the first rule is to follow your heart. What areas are you passionate about? You need to be driven to go through the years of education and research.

In order to be involved in policy, you either need many years of experience and a big reputation or work for a governmental agency or organization. That most often means a doctorateand working your way up. I know of a young PhD chemist doing that in the area of atmospheric pollution.

John

From Broadcast to Sciences, help!!!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:12 pm
by Dave Jensen
Hi Yezika,

I have a degree in Communications (Broadcast Journalism) as well as a science background. I combined these two areas of interest by doing science journalism.

Have you checked out the public policy fellowships at AAAS? (http://fellowships.aaas.org/) -- Requires a PhD, but may have some contact names you can call.

Dave

From Broadcast to Sciences, help!!!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:10 pm
by Meredith
Yezika,

I have been talking with a few others interested like yourself. As John said, the chances of landing this kind of position become only visible after the Ph.D. There are the AAAS fellowships, but most people would suggest trying this kind of position once you have established youself in the lab. Even then, these kinds of positions are fairly temporary, but at least you would get the exposure and chance to make important networking connections. In order for you to understand the positions and aid in policy-making, it is important that you have a good grip on the science. Of course, you can't learn everything while doing the Ph.D., but the environment and immersion is really something that can't be replicated outside of actually doing the degree. Once immersed, you will be positioned to handle such conversations and will also understand the "culture" of doing science.