Science Professional Societies Announce 2020-21 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows

The Optical Society, Materials Research Society and SPIE select Congressional Fellows poised to learn and contribute to U.S. science policymaking

WASHINGTON – The Optical Society (OSA), the Materials Research Society (MRS) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, are pleased to announce the selection of Catherine Clark and Michelle Solomon as 2020-2021 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows. Each will serve a one-year term in Washington, D.C., USA, as a special legislative assistant for a member of the U.S. Congress or as a staff member for a congressional committee.

Clark will serve as the 2020-2021 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow, while Solomon will serve as the 2020-2021 Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, which is co-sponsored by OSA and SPIE. The two Fellows will begin their terms in September 2020.

Caption: Catherine Clark, 2020-2021 OSA/MRS Congressional Fellow

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to experience policymaking firsthand,” Clark said. “I hope to apply my background in energy technologies towards effective, equitable, and science-based climate and energy policy.”

“I am thrilled to have been selected as the Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, and I look forward to applying science-driven thinking in service to the public while learning about policymaking and the legislative process,” Solomon said.

As part of their Fellowship, Clark and Solomon will attend a comprehensive science policy and communication training and orientation session facilitated by the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Upon training completion, the Fellows will interview with Senate, House of Representatives and congressional committee staff on Capitol Hill and then select which congressional office or committee they wish to serve for their fellowship year.

The Congressional Fellowship’s program mission is to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress and provide scientists with insight into the inner workings of the federal government. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of policymaking functions including, conducting legislative or oversight work, assist in congressional hearings and debates, prepare policy briefs and write speeches.

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