UCSF Group Advocates for Science Research on Capitol Hill

By Jeannine Cuevas on June 21, 2013

From left, postdoc Robert Judson, UCSF Associate Director of

Government Relations Jennifer Wickre, graduate student Nir

Oksenberg, and Graduate Division Dean Elizabeth Watkins

pose for a photo outside the Capitol on "UC Day in DC" on

May 21.

A group from UC San Francisco joined representatives from the nine other University of California campuses last month to make the case for Congressional support of graduate research and education at "UC Day in DC."

The annual event, organized by the University of California Washington Center, also highlighted how federally funded research conducted at UC and throughout California fuels the state's and our nation's economy.

Graduate Division Dean Elizabeth Watkins led the UCSF contingent, which also included postdoctoral scholar Robert Judson and graduate student Nir Oksenberg. Judson and Oksenberg are both involved with the Science Policy Group at UCSF, a registered campus organization that advocates for greater public and political support for scientific education and research and provides avenues for students and postdocs to explore careers in science policy.

Said Oksenberg, “I was eager to go to 'UC in DC' for a couple of reasons. First of all, I have never experienced first-hand politics in Washington. Secondly, I believe that there is a real need to educate our politicians about the state of science funding on a federal level.”

The team from UCSF met with legislative assistants for House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. David Valadao, and Rep. Michael Honda, and they met directly with Rep. Eric Swalwell, who represents the 15th District of California.

“Our job was to quickly explain what our research is about, and how federal money is critical to the success of the research enterprise, which in turn is important for the scientific and non-scientific communities,” Oksenberg explained.

Read more on the Graduate Division's website.