Three Years Ago Today….

….I received a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania where I studied the role of citizens in science. Here I am with my co-graduate, comedian  Yakov Smirnoff! 🙂

This led to my current push to restore the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, as a means to provide sound science policy advice to Congress with a mechanism for public participation; the early development of a web-based match-making tool to link researchers to volunteers from the public; and a collaboration with Professor James Trefil and the 76ers Cheerleaders to increase adult science literacy.

Approximately one year ago, this site emerged as a platform to share these initiatives with hundreds of thousands of readers who tune in to learn about, comment on, or build upon these thoughts. I owe a HUGE thank you to my incredibly talented friend Steve Grasse who encouraged me to “out” myself as a former professional cheerleader for the sake of science. His wonderful staff at Gyro built the foundation of this site. I am indebted to Steve and his team for helping me chart this course.

And, of course, there’s my family, both immediate and extended (includes friends). On paper, my family looks pretty darn traditional. Scratch the surface a little and you will find:

-Stewie from Family Guy (you’ll spot him right away in this picture if you imagine me as Louis).

-A wiser, but much younger, version of me (hint: the only other female)

-My future scientist, based on his ability to measure baking ingredients and build awesome Lego structures (the small guy in the front).

-The super-achiever who asked me why I received a medal for finishing a 26.6 mile marathon when “like, mom, 1,000 people beat you”. (Skeptical one in the back.)

-And, the man who has little interest in science and even less faith in public participation (“come with me when I select a jury someday and tell me if you want your peers weighing in on major science policy issues”) but who makes it possible for me to spin off on this very time-consuming adventure. Thanks, Bob!

Thank YOU subscribers. This is a collaborative effort and your comments are incredibly valuable. Looking forward to another year of working with you to increase adult science literacy, grow the ranks of citizen scientists, and create more opportunities for the public to weigh in on key science policy matters….and then some!