The Institute for Science & Policy, a project of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, received a $100,000 grant from the National Conference of State Legislatures State Science Policy Fellowship Planning Grant Initiative, supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Starting in November 2023, the award will support a year of planning and development for a Colorado Science Policy Fellowship program to support the state legislature. The fellowship will be designed to provide legislators with direct access to scientists. Simultaneously, the program will build the capacity of scientists and engineers, empowering them to actively participate in policy discussions and public service. With this bi-directional approach, the Institute for Science & Policy aims to help the development of resilient, evidence-based policies while also creating robust engagement opportunities for scientists.

Colorado faces a myriad of complex scientific and technological challenges, including water resources, air quality, an energy transition, advanced technology, and public health needs. Yet access to reliable scientific and technical expertise demands dedicated resources that are not always readily available to a hybrid legislature. By creating a Science Policy Fellows program in Colorado, we can bridge this gap and ensure that scientific information is timely and accessible. Science Policy Fellows will establish themselves as trusted, nonpartisan sources of scientific knowledge, instilling confidence among decision-makers on the effectiveness of the program. This fellowship will prove invaluable for Colorado, ensuring the state remains at the forefront of addressing its scientific and technological needs with informed and trustworthy guidance.

The planning process will involve participation from legislators, legislative staff, and key partners and stakeholders from across the state. Collaboratively, we will identify the structure, network, and sustainable funding needed to design and support a program for the Colorado legislature, and potentially the executive branch.

About The National Conference of State Legislatures  

NCSL represents the legislatures in the states, territories, and commonwealths of the U.S. Its mission is to advance the effectiveness, independence, and integrity of legislatures and to foster interstate cooperation and facilitate the exchange of information among legislatures. Learn more at  

Further Reading

In Science We Trust: Denver Museum Gets $100K Grant to Connect Scientists to Legislators

Developing Science and Technology Policy Fellowships in State Governments without Full-Time Legislatures

Integrating Evidence and Data in the Policymaking Process through Science Policy Fellowships

NCSL Center for Results-Driven Governing

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