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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop

The Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop (ESPW), a collaborative initiative among several partners, serves aspiring scientists and social scientists, including both graduate students and post-docs. Established in 2015, it enables participants to explore intersections between science and politics in order to increase their understanding of how politics affects their disciplines and how they can effectively engage with political and policymaking institutions – including through careers in public service. In three annual sessions, ESPW highlights the need for improvements in communication between scientists and non-scientists and for expanding the pool of scientifically trained graduates interested in public service careers.

Upcoming Events

Communicating Risk Regarding Science and Health: Lead Toxicity and Public Policy

  Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  Research Tower, Deans Conference Room 123
  675 Hoes Lane West, Piscataway, NJ

  Register here.

Featured Speakers include (list in formation):

  • Dan Van Abs
    Department of Human Ecology
    Discussion of NJ Clean Water Council
  • Brian Buckley
    Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute
  • Deborah Spitalnik
    Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
    Discussion of the effect of lead poisoning (paint and water) on children's development
  • Bill Hallman
    Department of Human Ecology
    Discussion of risk perception and how different audiences need to be addressed
  • Itzhak Yanovitzky
    School of Information and Communication
    Discussion of how scientists and experts are perceived by the public and policy makers; audience analysis and how to get access to the right people to send your message

Followed by an interactive case study activity on lead poisoning

Sign up for the Eagleton E-news and Alerts email list here.

Past Programs
Workshop participants role-played how to advocate effectively for federal funding of basic research at Rutgers and across the board, with tips from guest speakers Francine Newsome Pfeiffer, Andrew Black, and Julie Groeninger.
Dr. Rush Holt, a former NJ congressman and current chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered keynote remarks during an ESPW session titled "Advocating for Science – How to Inform and Persuade Politicians."
Former NJ governor and US EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman shared her experience making evidence-based decisions as a non-scientist in government in a Workshop conversation with John Weingart.
Rutgers Professor William Hallman and university alumnus Dr. Ronald Stotish (CEO, president and executive director of AquaBounty Technologies) participated in an ESPW discussion and interactive session with the students that explored how science influences public policy.
Annenberg Public Policy Center director Kathleen Hall Jamieson outlined the challenges public officials face when communicating facts about the Zika virus and how to prevent infection.
Rutgers Professor Stuart Shapiro led a group of students and faculty though an ESPW interactive policy exercise.
1/30/15 - Communicating Science to Politicians and the Public
Program Booklet 1/20/15

4/10/15 - Public Decision Making in Health, Education, and the Environment
Program Booklet 4/101/5

12/4/15 - Advocating for Science – How to Inform and Persuade Politicians
Program Booklet 12/4/15

2/5/16 - When Does Science Influence Policy?
Program Booklet 2/5/16

9/23/16 - Climate Politics and Congressional Simulation
Program Booklet 9/23/16

3/3/17 - Thwarting Polarization While Communicating the Science of Zika and Zika Prevention with Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson A copy of the program booklet is Program Booklet 3/3/17

4/14/17 - SciPolicy in Transition - Top government affairs expert shared a report from Washington, D.C. and advice for what scientists need to know, should be watching, and Program Booklet 4/14/17

10/27/17 - Opioid Abuse: Searching for Solutions in Science and Politics 
Program Booklet 10/27/17

The Eagleton Science and Politics Workshop is offered in collaboration with the following partners (list in formation):
  • The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Biomedical & Health Sciences
  • Departments of Neuroscience & Cell Biology and Pediatrics, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Division of Life Sciences
  • Graduate School-New Brunswick
  • Office of the Executive Dean, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
  • The Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (SciWomen)
  • The Rutgers University iJOBS Program, which is funded by a Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training grant from the NIH
Program Contact
For more information, please contact Eagleton's manager of outreach and special projects, Randi Chmielewski, at or (848) 932-8455.