Science on our Doorstep: Engaging greater Chicago area communities and policies through podcasting

Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed project has 3 main goals: (1) Highlight the intersection of science and local policy in Chicagoland using diverse voices from scientists, community members, and elected officials. Beyond traditional news, there are no resources that currently exist that deeply examine local science policy issues in Chicago, and especially not any tailored to university members. The impact from this goal is to have increased awareness amongst the academic community and those living in local Chicago neighborhoods on local science policy topics. (2) Amplify scientists' expertise in conversations about local policy that can benefit personal and civic decision-making. One of the main tenets of our science policy group's mission is to advocate for the use of science in policy making. The potential impact of this goal would firstly be that local community members from nonprofits, advocacy groups, and offices of elected officials would have greater confidence incorporating science into their practices and decision­making. Secondly, this goal would impact these same stakeholders by giving them greater resources to find scientific information related to a policy at hand, including access to the scientific experts interviewed on the podcast episode. (3) Build stronger connections between university members and the surrounding communities by emphasizing local impacts and opportunities to contribute. Both academic researchers at Northwestern University and local community members will be target audiences for the podcast, so we would like to also strengthen connections between the two groups. The potential impact of this goal would be that more university students and early-career researchers get involved in local policy initiatives, including voting in local elections, advocating for science-based local legislation, volunteering with nonprofits and local governing bodies, and integrating scientific research into local politics. A maximum impact of this goal would be to see university members feeling so inspired by this work that they take leadership positions in these local policy initiatives and/or form long-term, self-sustaining relationships with a policy issue.
Effective start/end date2/9/22 → 5/20/22


  • Research America (Award Letter 2/9/22)


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