A total of 57 postdoctoral scholars from Colorado research institutions assembled at the Colorado State Capitol on January 19 to share their research with Colorado state legislators as part of Colorado Science Day organized by Project Bridge Colorado. In support of the event, Governor John Hickenlooper signed an official proclamation naming January 19, 2018, as “Early Career Scientist Day.”
CU Boulder was well-represented among the 11 Colorado research institutions at the event, including CU Anschutz Medical Campus, CU Denver, CSU, NREL, NCAR, NOAA and NIST. The Postdoctoral Association of Colorado and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs promoted the event to CU Boulder postdoctoral scholars.
Research presentations by 15 CU Boulder postdoctoral scholars included lasers to study nanomaterial properties, biomaterial models of heart valve disease, the impact of emissions on human health, molecular sensors for cancer diagnostics, weather prediction models and vibration-resistant cloak materials that can be used to protect buildings from earthquake damage.
Co-hosted by a bipartisan coalition of 71 Colorado state senators and representatives, the Colorado Science Day poster session gave postdoctoral scholars from around the state the unique opportunity to speak with their representatives about their research. Colorado state legislators, in turn, learned about the breadth of scientific research performed by Colorado’s research institutions and developed a deeper understanding of issues of interest to their constituents.
“We are thrilled our postdoctoral colleagues took the time to leave the lab and engage with legislators,” says Brian Aguado, PhD, who serves as the Project Bridge representative for CU Boulder and president for the Postdoctoral Association of Colorado. “Project Bridge looks forward to providing more opportunities for early career scientists to network within and between Colorado institutions and communicate their findings to our legislators and the public.”
Project Bridge Colorado is a coalition of postdoctoral scholars that aims to promote outreach and engagement of scientists with their communities by providing science communication training, community events and science advocacy opportunities.