Science Policy Groups at UCB and UCSF to host the 3rd Annual National Science Policy Symposium!

Bay Area to Host Third Annual National Science Policy Symposium
Science Policy Groups at University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco team up to host Plants to Privacy: Science Ethics for the Modern Era, October 9-11 in Berkeley, CA.

(March 24, 2020) – Berkeley, California will welcome more than 400 early career scientists and engineers from across the country October 9-11, 2020 for the National Science Policy Network’s (NSPN) Third Annual National Science Policy Symposium. The symposium is the largest gathering dedicated to science policy in the nation. Science policy groups at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will co-host this year’s meeting. The theme, From Plants to Privacy: Science Ethics for the Modern Era, will specifically address ethical issues in areas such as agriculture, gene editing, privacy, and health. Technology benefits society immeasurably, but the scientific community needs to consider the implications of these advances. 

“If we want to get at the root of ethical issues in science, it seems appropriate, even symbolic, to hold this conference at the heart of where many of these innovations originate,” said Juliana Chase, Symposium Organizer at UC Berkeley. “California leads the nation in progressive science-based legislation, with the Bay Area standing as a world epicenter for technological discovery, elevating this area to the forefront of global conversations. The University of California, Berkeley has a rich legacy of shaping movements that create activism, scientific endeavors, and legislative transparency.”

“Many people believe that science is somehow uniquely apolitical,” said Elina Kostyanovskaya, Symposium Organizer at UC San Francisco. “We hope that as a result of this symposium scientists will come to understand that the data, methods, and technology we create do not exist in a bubble. Introducing powerful technologies without limits risks perpetuating inequalities and societal problems. Through this symposium, we strive to inspire scientists to understand and act upon the ethical, socioeconomic, and political implications of their work.”

As NSPN chapters founded by and for early career scientists and engineers, the Science Policy Groups at Berkeley and San Francisco are committed to facilitating a symposium that not only features talks and panel sessions on science policy and ethical issues but also offers ample training opportunities to empower early career scientists to forge change from the local to global levels. Moreover, the symposium has been strategically designed to facilitate engagement for problem solving and community building that will benefit attendees beyond the weekend in Berkeley.

“Our symposium supports all three pillars of our mission: building a collaborative community, providing communication training, and supporting engagement and advocacy for science-informed policy,” said Holly Mayton, Director of Membership for NSPN. “It is the largest gathering of our members, bringing together people from all across the country to build solidarity and get critical hands-on training. Year after year, our members have left the symposium with a sense of empowerment and clear pathways to engage in the policy process at all levels.”

Registration for the third annual National Science Policy Symposium will open May 1, 2020. A preliminary schedule of sessions, workshops, and posters is available at



ABOUT Science Policy Group at Berkeley 

The Science Policy Group (SPG) at Berkeley is a group of primarily graduate students at UC Berkeley in STEM fields who are excited to learn and share their knowledge on how policy influences science and vice-versa. Founded in 2017, SPG has three main goals: improving policy literacy among scientists, building members’ communication skills, and facilitating career development. SPG hosts speakers with science policy expertise, participates in advocacy trips to Sacramento, engages STEM students in voting, and organizes discussions on high-profile science policy issues. For more information, visit or find us on Twitter @UCB_SciPolicy.

ABOUT Science Policy Group at UCSF

The Science Policy Group at UCSF (SPG) is a coalition of graduate students and postdocs interested in helping scientists participate in the policy-making process to enhance the research enterprise. Since 2013, SPG at UCSF has hosted numerous speakers and workshops to help scientists of all levels hone their policy writing, speaking, and advocacy skills, from introductory “Advocacy 101” and “How to Write an OpEd” workshops to visiting California state policymakers. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@SPGatUCSF).


​The National Science Policy Network (NSPN) is a grassroots, member-based organization that catalyzes the engagement of early career scientists and engineers in policymaking by fostering community, training leaders, and empowering advocates for the role of science in policy. In addition to the annual National Science Policy Symposium, NSPN supports a variety of other activities, including grants, internships, externships, and webinars. Visit and follow on Twitter @SciPolNetwork to learn more. Join NSPN to get our newsletter and more here:

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