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Ogmius Newsletter

Ogmius Exchange II

Life After CSTPR
by Shep Ryen

Shep RyenCambridge, MA -- I arrived in Boulder expecting to begin a long journey in academia. But after two short semesters, I took a break from enjoying Boulder's rich social and intellectual opportunities and traded in my hiking boots for wingtips. Through contacts I made while at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, I secured a summer internship with the House Committee on Science and Technology. What started as a two month break, however, morphed into a full-time career. Despite the relatively brief time I spent at CU working on my Masters, the tools and experience I gained proved immediately helpful while on the Hill. As a professional staff member I borrowed on CU's policy analysis framework to work on numerous pieces of science and technology legislation and helped organize dozens of hearings that discussed U.S. R&D concerns. These events regularly illustrated how science and technology are intertwined with social and political forces and the need for decision-makers to consider a vast array of uncertainties across these domains.

After four years working for the Committee, though, I've packed up my Buffs apparel and escaped snowy DC for the warmer climes of Massachusetts. Boston gives me the opportunity to hone my critical thinking skills as a new employee of the Government Accountability Office, a frequent destination for Center and Environmental Studies graduates. The GAO's oversight work runs nearly government-wide, excepting intelligence matters and certain activities of the Federal Reserve. Our work includes reports in a number of areas close to Center denizens' hearts such as water and energy policy, tax and budget issues, and nanotechnology. I'm eager to spend the next few years diving deeply into the Federal bureaucracy and (hopefully) putting the professional skepticism and contextual awareness I learned at the Center to good use.

Over these past few years, I've been happy to continue my involvement with the Center and their affiliates, including collaborating with the DC office of Arizona State's Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes and attending the enlightening workshop on Reconciling the Supply and Demand for Research in the Science of Science and Innovation Policy cosponsored by CSTPR. Consistent with the Center's prodigious publication record, results from this workshop will be featured in the upcoming issue of Policy Sciences.

Though I spent just two short years working in the Center's house on Grandview, I count the time as pivotal in my life. I am continually impressed with the camaraderie and thoughtfulness of the people and ideas flowing through that two-story house.

Shep Ryen
Government Accountability Office