ISGP Academic Partnerships (IAP)
Critical debates and caucuses are the centerpieces for the pedagogical approach underlying ISGP Academic Partnerships and therefore are emulated in the structure of the ISGP Academic Conferences that are convened at participating colleges and universities. Participating students organize and lead each ISGP Academic Conference at their respective institutions with audiences of their fellow students, faculty, and members of the public.
The academic preparation of the students begins with classroom studies under the supervision of faculty. In addition to the classroom studies, participating students are offered the opportunity to (i) join the ISGP staff in interviews of experts worldwide, (ii) read the extensive background material and reports available to the ISGP (including advance copies of the policy position papers used in formal ISGP conferences), and (iii) participate in ISGP staff discussions concerning which S&T experts are to be invited to prepare the policy position papers to be debated. The specific S&T topic to be addressed on campus is selected from one of the formal ISGP conference series that have been recognized as being of major worldwide importance.
The overall educational experience can be viewed as a “practical S&T-policy laboratory” designed to (i) prepare students for active roles in informing and guiding policy makers at the local, regional, national, and global levels and (ii) expose the public to informed debates provide by distinguished S&T experts and led by students who have participated in the ISGP Academic Partnership. Taken together, both experiences are important steps toward ensuring that appropriate respect for rational thinking is given to the future formulation and implementation of public and private sector polices.
The success of each ISGP Academic Partnership can be evaluated in terms of two goals:
- The degree to which students recognize the real-world challenges of integrating scientifically credible information into the formulation and implementation of public and private policy decisions. Are these students better prepared to engage in promoting rational consideration of the practical S&T options available to address major societal issues?
- The extent to which the students and their academic institutions are effective in engaging members of their respective communities in recognizing the value of basing public and private sector policy decisions on credible S&T information. Has the ISGP Academic Partnership helped the students and the academic institution to be effective interlocutors for these issues on behalf of their respective academic and public communities?
IAP FSSD Conferences
- Safeguarding the American Food Supply, April 10–11, 2015, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, U.S. Convened in partnership with Ursinus College.
- Production and Sustainability, April 24–25, 2015, St. Petersbug, Florida, U.S. Convened in partnership with Eckerd College and Sigma Xi, the Research Society.
- Socioeconomic Contexts of Sustainable Agriculture, to be convened October 14-15, 2016, in Danbury, Connecticut, U.S. Convened in partnership with Western Connecticut State University.
IAP EPID Conferences
- Focus on Pandemic Preparedness: April 2014, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, U.S. Convened in partnership with Ursinus College.
IAP Climate Change Conferences
- Water and Fire: Impacts of Climate Change, April 2016, Sacramento, California, U.S. Convened in partnership with California State University-Sacramento.
IAP Science Communication Conferences
- Communicating Science for Policy, August, 2015, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. Convened in partnership with Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society.