We are the Science Policy & Advocacy Initiative at UMass Amherst.


7 pm Wed, Sep. 3 2020, 5:30pm ET,

Location: Zoom - 981 7875 9298

Do you care about scientific and societal issues in fields like bioethics, climate change, and artificial intelligence? Do you think that strengthening connections between scientific research, policymakers, and the general public is important? Do you want to make a difference and get involved?

We are a group of students at UMass Amherst confronting real-world issues at the intersection of science, policy, and society.


Due to the university's plan to have a fall semester that is entirely online for clubs, we too will be online.

We will be meeting the first thursday of each month at 5:30pm, third Tuesday of the month 5pm ET on Zoom.

Spring 2020 General Interest Meeting

7 pm Wed, Feb. 5 2020, Location TBD

What we do

We are one of the first undergraduate-centered science policy and advocacy initiatives in the United States. Our goals are to:

  • Expose students across all disciplines to the world of science policy and advocacy.
  • Empower students to engage in real-world issues at the intersection of science, society, and policy.
  • Enable students to experience the science policy process in practice.
  • Provide resources, mentoring, and support for students interested in science policy and/or advocacy efforts and integrating these into their careers.

How do we plan to do this?

Weekly meetings and discussions

Stay tuned for our first meeting location and time!

Workshops, guest lectures, and other events

We are looking into attending meetings such as the AAAS CASE Workshop. Let us know what other ideas you might have!

Resources and engagement opportunities

We are currently amassing lists of educational resources, online workshops, and internships.

By growing together

We are just starting out, and we can’t wait to see where this will go!

Who we are

We are a student-run organization and we are looking for more members to form an organization that will be stable in the long term.

Isabel Vaishampayan - Co-Director; Class of 2021; Favorite fruit: melons!

Hi everyone! I’m a senior Pre-veterinary and Public Health double major and the other Co-Director. I joined this club at its beginning because I believe there is a void of science and scientists involved in policy making and societal knowledge in general. It is difficult to create science-based policy when the science isn’t known or understood by policymakers. It is important for everyone to understand how science and policy respond to each other, making it vital that individuals from all majors and backgrounds participate in this RSO. Personally, I am interested in how animal agriculture impacts human and environmental health.

Liana Resnikoff - Co-Director; Class of 2023; Favorite fruit: peaches

Hi! I’m a biology and math double major and one of this year’s co-directors of the club. I originally joined this club last year because I think that science isn’t listened to as much as it should be and part of that is a lot of scientists don’t know how to communicate what they know to the general public. As a science major, I want to know how to convey things to anyone, and have them understand why change is important. Science Policy is a huge field, and some of the topics that I’m particularly interested in are public health, environmental policy, and education.

Get involved!

We recently became a Registered Student Organization (RSO) and welcome students from all majors! We are especially interested in forming a diverse group of students who can contribute different perspectives both from their personal and academic backgrounds. Come and join us to make this group the best it can possibly be! If you are interested, please fill out this form. If you have any questions, feel free to email either Isabel or Liana.