Happy New Year!
I'm so excited about what 2024 will bring to the Utah LSEN Community! In the Fall of 2023, we launched our hybrid Career Club and Skills workshops. These workshops were attended by trainees at the University of Utah, Utah State, and Westminster. We are proud to provide this safe space for trainees to explore careers in science communication and policy! However, as we continue into 2024, we hope to build connections and provide opportunities for scientists and engineers to better engage with the policy influencers and stakeholders of Utah.
So, how can we engage now??
The Utah legislative session began on January 16th. It will run for 45 days (until Mar 1st). Many bills will be introduced affecting climate, equity/inclusion, and healthcare. It's important as a scientific community that we are informed and familiar with proposed policies so that we can observe how science and technology can play a role in effective decision-making.
Just this week, we heard the news of the passing of HB261, which addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in higher education. Under this bill, K-12 and higher education and government offices will be prohibited from using the terms “diversity, equity, and inclusion” within their mission efforts, including recruitment, training, and providing resources. This view on DEI is not new to Utah and, in fact, was seen in the 2023 Legislative session with SB0283. Given the cyclical nature of policy, we highly encourage you to get out into the community and meet with policy influencers, civic leaders, or other fellow research professionals to see how you can help elevate the visibility and trust in science.
We are the Utah LSEN community, and we can be the change we want to see! Therefore, please invite others to join our online community, start discussions, share resources - you can check out the resources we've compiled in our shared files center - and start your engagement journey!
In the meantime, as we grow our Utah LSEN community, please share your thoughts on 1.) what the primary challenges facing our state are and 2.) how Science can help address these obstacles for better policy outcomes for the Greater Salt Lake Community and the General public of Utah in 2024.
I'm looking forward to engaging with all of you this year!
1200 New York Ave, NW Washington, DC, 20005Contact MemberCentral Support