Recent happenings


Renewable Energy and Biotechnology Innovation in Uruguay

Communications Coordinator Sejal Goud travels to Uruguay with a delegation from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. The group participated in several high-level meetings, including with President Luis Lacalle Pou and Vice President Beatriz Argimón, Ambassador Heidi Fulton of the U.S. to Uruguay, various ministers, the Uruguay Innovation Hub, and Uruguay XXI. Additionally, several site visits enabled the cohort to learn from the country’s accomplishments, such as its 98% green energy grid. Following their return to the U.S. the team will produce a policy brief.


Princeton’s Service & Social Impact Internship Showcase

At Princeton’s Service & Social Impact Internship Showcase, 2023 Civic Service intern Rachel Edelstein presents about her summer experience at the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program.




Open Science and Innovation in Ukraine 2023 International Conference

Senior Manager of Global Science Nataliya Shulga welcomes participants of the II International Conference “Open Science and Innovation in Ukraine 2023” . The virtual conference, held during International Open Access Week, was hosted by the State Scientific and Technical Library of Ukraine under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, in partnership with TIB Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library.

Conversation with AMNH President Sean Decatur

President of the American Museum of Natural History Sean Decatur joins Science & Society Director Aaron Mertz for The Story of Us, a public discussion at Roosevelt House in NYC, as part of the Aspen Institute Conversations with Great Leaders Series in memory of Preston Robert Tisch. Throughout the discussion, Dr. Decatur and Dr. Mertz shared insights on a variety of topics at the science-society intersection, including leadership in lab settings, building public trust in science through education, and AMNH’s vision for the future.

Global Science Diplomacy Roundtable

Senior Manager of Global Science Nataliya Shulga participates in the Fall 2023 Roundtable on Global Science Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The roundtable convened experts and practitioners from government, academia, and international organizations to utilize the neutral, informal channel to promote science diplomacy as a tool for addressing global challenges, informing global policy-making, and building societal relationships. The meeting addressed programs to support international scientific collaboration, U.S. scientific priorities for UNESCO, and generative AI. The new international research collaboration project IMPRESS-Ukraine was presented as a success story of government and private charity collaboration.


Ensuring the Future of an Innovative Ukraine

Senior Manager of Global Science Nataliya Shulga contributes to two panels—“Collaborative Grants” and “Science for Policy”—as part of the HUMBOLDT4UKRAINE: Supporting Researchers online networking forum. 22 countries were represented at the event, including participants from Ukraine, Germany, Czechia, Poland, and France. 83% of the Ukrainian researchers indicated they are currently displaced, with some displaced within Ukraine while the majority are living in another European country.  Organizers of the event include the MSCA4UkraineMSCA4Ukraine consortium and Philipp Schwartz Initiative. A report will follow to advise the European Commission on the future developments in this area.

Implementing Open Science in Eastern Europe

Senior Manager for Global Science Nataliya Shulga travels to Poland, Croatia, and Ukraine, participating in several exchanges aimed at gathering knowledge about the faith of implementing open science in these countries at the level of well-known scientific institutions, research management, and country leadership. Key meetings attended by Dr. Shulga were hosted by the International Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Warsaw, Aspen Institute Kyiv, the National Research Foundation of Ukraine, various parliamentary leaders, and PUBMET 2023 (The 10th Conference on Scholarly Communication in the Context of Open Science).

Capacity Building for Civic Science Policy

Associate Director Jylana Sheats is featured on a Journal of Science Policy & Governance (JSPG) panel alongside other current and former Civic Science Fellows. During the panel, she shares about the pedagogical civic/citizen science activities she has integrated into the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program, her courses at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and in partnership with the Stanford University School of Medicine “Our Voice” team in the HARTS Lab.

One Step Closer to Becoming Science Engagement Breakthrough of the Year

Our initiative combining science and social justice for disadvantaged American youth, Our Future Is Science, is named a Falling Walls Engage Finalist from among 200+ applications from around the world, a step toward becoming the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2023 in the category Science Engagement.

Two Interns in Civic Service Start at Science & Society

Rachel Edelstein and Davina Thompson start work at the Science & Society Program supported by the Princeton University Internships in Civic Service to focus on communications efforts of our youth initiative Our Future Is Science and the program as a whole.

New Science & Social Justice Manager Hired

A mentor alumnus of our youth initiative Our Future Is Science, Hassan Farah, is hired to manage our Science & Social Justice initiatives as he completes his Ph.D. in translational biology at Virginia Tech.

Keynote Address at River Basin Symposium

Director Aaron Mertz presents the keynote address “Youth, Science, and Social Justice” at the York River and Small Coastal Basins Symposium in Gloucester Point, VA, hosted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science of the College of William & Mary.

New Senior Manager for Global Science Hired

An accomplished molecular biologist with extensive experience in science and education policymaking, Nataliya Shulga, from Ukraine and now based in the U.S., is hired to manage our Global Science initiatives.

Placing Science at Core of Public and Private Policies

In Rome, Director Aaron Mertz and Associate Director Jylana Sheats attend the conference “In Favor of Pure Science” at the Aspen Institute Italia, as part of the global effort to place science at the core of public and private policies and to raise awareness of political and economic decision-makers regarding the importance of investing in this field. Aaron Mertz introduces the session, “For an ecosystem of pure research: next steps” and discusses the topic with the Italian public broadcasting channel “Rai Cultura.”

New Associate Director Receives Public Health Award

Newly promoted Science & Society Associate Director Jylana Sheats receives the Tony A. Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award, presented annually to a graduate of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington for demonstrating outstanding personal and professional achievements that foster the broad missions of public health.

Reinventing Life Sciences Leadership

In Boston, Director Aaron Mertz co-chairs the Vanguard Network’s Life Sciences Leaders Forum, “Reinventing Life Sciences Leadership: What Does It Take?” and co-leads the session, “Reinventing ourselves as leaders: What leadership qualities do we need to drive high performance for the next five years?

LEAP’s Annual Meeting about Climate Data Science

Outside Manhattan, at the second Annual Meeting of Columbia University’s Learning the Earth with Artificial Intelligence and Physics (LEAP), Director Aaron Mertz and Garance Choko speak about the initiative, Our Future Is Science, they co-founded and ways they are partnering with Columbia researchers on the transfer of knowledge about climate data science to the initiative’s youth participants.


Berlin Science Debate

In Germany, Director Aaron Mertz and Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats are invited participants in the 17th Berlin Science Debate for high-level representatives from science, politics, and business. The debate is held in conjunction with the Falling Walls Science Summit that reunites the international science community and celebrates outstanding scientific breakthroughs. Jylana Sheats speaks on “Moving beyond the status quo: Centering inclusivity and equity in science communication.”

International Forum on Research Excellence (IFoRE)

High-school senior and Our Future Is Science mentee alumna and current Ambassador Sara Gonzalez, Director Aaron Mertz, and Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats speak on the panel “Dismantling Barriers to STEM: Innovative & Culturally Responsive Program Models for Student Preparedness & Success” at the International Forum on Research Excellence (IFoRE) conference in Alexandria, VA. Sara Gonzalez also makes a poster presentation, “Brain Fuel: The Development of a Student-Led Initiative to Increase Awareness of the Intersection between Nutrition, Youth Food Insecurity, and Academic Performance,” and Aaron Mertz also presents the Science & Society project, “In Favor of Pure Science.”

Expanding DEI in Science and Medicine

Director Aaron Mertz and Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats are invited stakeholders at the Pew Research Center’s discussion on current and future work that increases diversity, equity, and inclusion in science and medicine, particularly among Black and Hispanic Americans.

New Communications Coordinator

Princeton University undergraduate Sejal Goud is promoted to Communications Coordinator after a Science & Society Program summer internship supported by Princeton Internships in Civic Service (PICS). The Science & Society Program will host two new PICS interns in 2023.

Career Panels for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Director Aaron Mertz speaks on career panels for current biology graduate students and postdocs at the New York Skin Club conference at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and at the Gordon Research Seminar on Epithelial Differentiation and Keratinization.

Exeloop Dinner on the Future of Research

In Washington, DC, Director Aaron Mertz is an invited participant in the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust’s inaugural Exeloop Dinner, “The Future of Research: Powershifts and Implications.”

Science & Society Leaders Speak at EquiTech Futures

For the talent incubator and research lab EquiTech Futures, Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats presents on connecting science and society through digital citizen science, and Director Aaron Mertz teaches a class, “Building Public Trust in Science: Opportunities and Challenges.” In Chicago, Aaron Mertz speaks on the panel, “Moving Science, Technology, and Society Forward Together,” hosted by EquiTech Futures and the Rhodes Trust.

Building Better Global Governance of Science

At the U.S.–China dialogue, “How to Build Better Global Governance of Science,” sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Embassy in Beijing, Public Affairs Section, Director Aaron Mertz speaks about furthering collaborations between the U.S. and China through science.

Journal on the Co-Production of Knowledge

For a special issue of the journal Community Science on the co-production of knowledge, Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats is approved as guest editor.

Climate Change Impacts

Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats presents on climate change impacts to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Re-Imagining Science Communication and Driving Social Change

At the 5th National Academies Science Communication Colloquium, “Re-Imagining Science Communication in the COVID Era and Beyond,” Civic Science Fellow Jylana Sheats is a featured panelist. Jylana Sheats is also an opening speaker at the conference, frank 2022, exploring the role of lived experience in driving lasting social change.


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