“An Astrophysicist Goes to Washington OR How I Realized DC Meant More Than Direct Current”
Dr. Gregory Mack
AAAS Fellow, Physics Division at NSF
OSU Physics Alum, 2008
Abstract:The world of physics doesn’t end at the edge of campus. As an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow, I’ve learned an astronomical amount about science policy and the federal government’s role in scientific research, funding, and practices. In my placement at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Physics, I have focused heavily on physics communication issues and have also experienced first-hand the inner workings of the Foundation. PhD scientists really can be a part of the seemingly alien landscape of the federal government and its science agencies! I have many experiences to share of my time so far as a Fellow, which began in September 2013, and information on how other PhD scientists can get involved.
Bio from nsf.gov:
Greg Mack earned his Ph.D. in Physics (Theoretical Astrophysics) from The Ohio State University in 2008, specializing in the particle properties of dark matter. Prior to the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, he taught at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH, as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy for the past four years. There, he taught courses including introductory astronomy for a general student audience, introductory physics for non-physics majors, cosmology for science and non-science majors, and Quantum Mechanics 2 for the physics/astrophysics majors while mentoring student research. Being a ballet/modern dancer as well as a physicist, he also has investigated ways to use the arts to help communicate science. This has included using dancers to help illustrate ideas in a science lecture concerning the history of the universe at Ohio Wesleyan instead of traditional PowerPoint slides. In the Division of Physics at NSF, he will be working on a project focused on improving physics communication.