Science Policy Group at the University of Chicago

Science policy is an all-encompassing term for both the myriad ways in which scientific research impacts public policy and the avenues through which public policy shapes and funds the scientific enterprise. Science policy subfields range from the obvious and pervasive, such as climate science or epidemic management, to those which – at first thought – might seem subtle or even unrelated to science, such as personal privacy rights or how evidence is evaluated in a courtroom. The effects of science policy reach every person on the globe, and therefore it is essential that the corresponding policies be informed by scientific experts and designed to advance the public good.

UChicago Science Policy Group (SPG) is a student organization focused on educating and involving students in the intersection of science and public policy. The purpose of SPG is to give UChicago students who are passionate about science the tools to be more politically engaged and prepare for a career in policy. SPG hosts workshops, seminars, and organizes advocacy and civic engagement efforts, both within Chicago and in concert with national science policy organizations. Students of all disciplines are welcome!

SPG offers opportunities to create internal workshops or external events, engage in science policy advocacy with elected officials, partner with nonprofits, invite guest speakers, and increase the role of scientific research in the creation and implementation of public policy. In the past, our events have included: Science of Forensics Workshop with the law school’s Defenders Club, a Chicago Water Forum downtown with science policy groups from Northwestern, UIC, and the Illinois Science Council, podcasting, science policy journal clubs, policy memo writing workshops, a film screening, and more!

Typically, we meet every other week. All UChicago students and affiliates are welcome to attend any event and we usually start off all meetings with introductions and SciPol current events. To get involved, join our listserv (, check out our Google Calendar Events (, and follow us on Twitter (@UCSciencePolicy) or Facebook (

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