For my second sabbatical from the University of Hartford, I wanted a different kind of experience. I have been learning about the importance of using well-informed science to shape policy decisions, and was interested in doing my part and getting involved. Being a mid-career scientist and professor, however, made the logistics of moving to DC for a year a bit daunting.
Then I was reading Madeleine Albright’s autobiography, and encountered this story that she told from back when her home country of Czechoslovakia was still Communist. A Czech dissident encountered and old friend and said, “My friend, we could really use your help with the cause. Will you join us?” The old friend responded, “I wish I could but I can’t. You see, I have children.” The dissident replied, “I wish that I could be silent as you, but I can’t. You see, I have children.”
With that story, my thoughts turned away from “How can I?” to “How can I not?”
So I will spend the next year as a Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellow contributing what I can to make a difference.