CSPO Conversations

Occasional Encounters in Science, Society and Policy

CSPO conversations are occasional dialogues and collective reflections, among thought leaders, partners and collaborators, on contemporary issues at the intersections of science, society and policy — from the perils of remaining captive to a “scientific-technological elite” to pragmatic actions in dealing with climate change.

  • Webinar: Is There Really a STEM Workforce Shortage?

    Claims that there is a significant shortage of STEM talent have been a running feature of STEM workforce policy discussions since the 1950s. The outcomes of these discussions influence not only federal investment in education and training, but also labor and immigration policy, as well as efforts to diversify the STEM workforce. Yet, as Ron Hira writes in Issues in Science and Technology, the data to bolster such claims are often lacking, and some voices are louder than others. How can STEM workforce needs best be determined, and how should policymakers balance the many factors in play?

    On October 24 at 1:30 PM ET, join Howard University’s Ron Hira, Trevor Wagener of the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Matt Sigelman of the Burning Glass Institute, and Iris Wagstaff of Wagstaff STEM Solutions in a discussion moderated by Lydia DePillis of the New York Times on how to make STEM workforce discussions more nuanced and inclusive.

    Register now to join this Zoom webinar!

    Date

    October 24, 2022 1:30pm—2:30pm

    Links

  • An Experiment in Deliberative Democracy

    What does the future look like? Who should decide it? Faced with threats like Brexit, the European Union (EU) institutions had a surprising answer: the people.

    The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented experiment in transnational, large-scale deliberative democracy which led to 49 proposals for the future of the EU and more than 300 concrete measures for the European Institutions to implement. What can we learn from Europe, and how can we use deliberation to improve our democracy? On June 22 at 12PM ET, join Gaëtane Ricard-Nihoul (European Commission, remotely), Servane Metzger (French Ministry of European Affairs, remotely) and Yves Mathieu (Missions Publiques, in-person) to learn more about the unique process of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the experiences of citizens and decision makers.

    Date

    June 22, 2022 12:00pm—1:30pm

    Location Information

    ASU Washington Center

    1800 I St NW

    Second Floor

    Washington, DC 20006

  • Involving the Public in Participatory Scenario Planning in Maui, Hawai‘i

    In this project, a participatory scenario planning process and modeling framework was used to demonstrate and communicate the consequences and tradeoffs of alternative land management strategies under a changing climate, and to serve as a tool for decision making under environmental and socioeconomic uncertainty on the island of Maui. An integrated land cover/hydrological modeling framework was developed using GIS data, stakeholder input, climate information and projections, and empirical data to estimate future groundwater recharge on Maui. Four future land-cover scenarios and two downscaled climate projections representing wet and dry climate futures were used to estimate average annual groundwater recharge at the end of the century. The future land-cover scenarios were codeveloped with over 100 diverse stakeholders to portray feasible development futures: Future 1 – ecological conservation-focused, Future 2 – status quo, Future 3 – development-focused, and Future 4 – balanced conservation and development. The estimated mean island-wide recharge rate increased under all future land-cover and climate combinations, although results varied by watershed. Results showed that urban expansion is currently slated for coastal areas that are already water-stressed and had low recharge projections. Through co-development of and participation in this research project, municipal water utilities, policy makers, and planners increased their familiarity with uncertainty and climate projections and are using results to choose watersheds to develop for new freshwater sources.

    This completed project will demonstrate how the co-development of climate research through participatory scenario planning and modeling can accelerate the uptake of complex climate data and projections into local decision making by increasing familiarity with uncertain futures.

    Date

    May 26, 2022 12:00pm—1:00pm

    Additional Information

    COVID-19 Policies:

    • Attendees are required to show proof of up to date vaccination with ID.
    • Lunch will be provided.
    • This event will also be livestreamed. Register here to attend virtually.

    Links

    Location Information

    ASU Washington Center

    1800 I St NW

    Washington, DC 20006

  • Webinar: What Is Biosecurity for the Twenty-First Century?

    After September 11 and the anthrax attacks in 2001, the United States adopted a top-down governance structure for bioterrorism that famously employed “guns, gates, and guards” to prevent attacks, while keeping track of suspicious “insiders” who might cause harm. But today, after the emergence of the novel coronavirus and its variants, society’s idea of what constitutes biological security and safety is changing. Looking toward a future in which gene editing can be done by do-it-yourselfers, biological engineering is common, and environmental changes shape new biorealities, the old top-down model of biosecurity will not be up to the task.

     

    On May 23 at 3:00 PM ET, join Melissa Haendel (University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus), David Gillum (Arizona State University), Sam Weiss Evans (Harvard Kennedy School), and Yong-Bee Lim (Council on Strategic Risks) to discuss how to reimagine biosecurity and biosafety—and even the relationship between biological research and society—for a new era.

     

    Date

    May 23, 2022 3:00pm—4:00pm

    Links

  • Imagining COP60: Scenarios, Sci-fi, and Policy Tools in Post-Normal Fiction

    Last year’s COP26 was one of the most widely followed events in the history of climate politics. Though new, more ambitious agreements were reached, the world was left with big questions about whether nations would be able to limit global warming to 1.5°C—and how we will adapt to the changes and climate chaos coming.

    In his debut book, Our Shared Storm: A Novel of Five Climate Futures, climate fiction author Andrew Dana Hudson imagines the five possible futures for the COP and climate politics. Inspired by the IPCC’s Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios, which were used in the recent Sixth Assessment Report, the stories examine the cultures of climate policy making in futures that range from hopeful to harrowing. The book also includes non-fiction discussions of the opportunities and challenges of writing climate fiction and using stories to advance policy thinking.

    Date

    April 28, 2022 12:00pm—1:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Center
    1800 I St NW
    8th Floor
    Washington, DC 20006

    Links

  • Webinar: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century

    Vannevar Bush’s influence on the history and institutions of US science and technology is unrivaled, but he remains relatively unknown outside wonky science policy circles. G. Pascal Zachary, Bush’s biographer and editor of a new collection of Bush’s writings, The Essential Writings of Vannevar Bush (Columbia University Press, 2022) talks with historian of science and technology Emily Gibson about this remarkable figure, and why Bush’s pioneering insights and lucid writings deserve a wide audience today.

    Date

    March 24, 2022 3:00pm—4:00pm

  • Webinar: Does Engineering Education Need a Revolution?

    The basic structure of engineering education was set in 1955 and hasn’t changed much since. Rather than hands-on problem solving, classes emphasize theory, while a “pipeline mindset” perpetuates a system designed to keep people out rather than welcome them in. How can engineering schools connect their curricula to solving the broader social justice, equity, and environmental issues that motivate today’s students?

    On December 17 at 3 PM ET, join past president of the American Society for Engineering Education Sheryl Sorby, current ASEE executive director Norman L. Fortenberry, and Gilda Barabino, president of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, for a discussion moderated by Chemical & Engineering News science news editor Jessica Marshall on what it will take to prepare tomorrow’s engineers for our digital, diverse, global, and rapidly changing society. Register today!

    Date

    December 17, 2021 3:00pm—4:00pm

    Links

  • True Stories That Matter: Applying Creative Nonfiction to Science & Policy Writing

    You’ve produced some important research or a policy plan that could create meaningful change. How do you make your ideas and proposals stand out and get read? Creative nonfiction offers a way for researchers, policy wonks, program managers, grant writers, and writers of all forms to turn their ideas into compelling narratives.

    Join Lee Gutkind, the “Godfather” behind creative nonfiction (Vanity Fair), on November 16 from 12:00-1:00 pm for an in-person CSPO Conversation! He will introduce and deconstruct the basic techniques of the genre and how they can be applied to make complicated ideas more appealing to a general audience.  There will be a special emphasis on scene writing, a technique that will help readers understand and relate to scientific issues and ideas.

    Masks are required. A livestream will also be available.

    Register here to join us in-person or to receive the livestream link!

    Date

    November 16, 2021 12:00pm—1:00pm

    Location Information

    ASU Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center

    1800 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

     

    8th floor. Masks are required.