Ogmius Newsletter

Ogmius 10TH
Anniversary issue

Shali Mohleji

Shali MohlejiThe Center for Science and Technology Policy Research provided an invaluable education to me while I was a doctoral student studying science policy. Through my courses, I learned to conceptualize scientific research based on missions, assess the decisions that shape the future of science, and strategize on methods to maximize science for decision making. Beyond these issues, my advisor - Roger Pielke, Jr. - encouraged me to think about the role of scientists when they engage in the policy process. This considers how the scientist can provide useful information to decision makers while maintaining the integrity of the scientific enterprise and the scientific profession; ultimately protecting the status of both from becoming simply a special interest. This issue has proven to be the most important lesson for me, both personally and professionally.

After graduating from the University, I moved to Washington, D.C. where I now work in science policy at the federal level. Washington D.C. is the home for federal policy work and therefore a hub for federal science policy. As the scientific enterprise is increasingly recognizing the importance of the intersection between science and policy, more scientists are getting involved in the science policy arena, sometimes unwittingly. Without the opportunity for formal consideration of such issues, many groups are unaware of the need to maintain the integrity of the scientific enterprise while many other groups are unaware of how to maintain the integrity of science. Therefore I have found it extremely important to share my knowledge on such issues and to personally proceed accordingly by engaging in a manner where I

Shali Mohleji participating in a workshop discussion in 2009

Shali Mohleji participating in a workshop discussion in 2009

can provide and convey useful scientific information to decision makers without crossing the line into advocacy. In an environment like Washington, D.C. where advocacy is inherent to the political culture, it is extremely important that I understand my role and can adhere to it which actually allows me to optimize my role in the process.

I am grateful to have learned about such an important issue and gained an understanding of how to incorporate these ideas into my professional conduct in order to benefit the scientific enterprise and contribute appropriately to the policy process. The Center provides an education that is unique and crucial to the future of science and the faculty, students, and researchers involved are bright and insightful scholars who are leading the efforts of science policy across the globe. It is an honor to be affiliated with the University of Colorado – Boulder Center for Science and Technology Policy Research.

Shalini Mohleji, Center Graduate Student 2004-2011; Ph.D. ENVS 2011; Currently Visiting Fellow, American Meteorological Society Policy Program