RIVERSIDE, Calif. Alan McHughen, a public sector educator, scientist and consumer advocate at the University of California, Riverside, has been chosen by the U.S. Department of State and the National Academy of Sciences to receive a 2011-2012 Jefferson Science Fellowship. McHughen is one of only thirteen persons selected for the fellowships this year.
Successful applicants undergo a rigorous selection process, are highly accomplished in fields of science and engineering relevant to the State Department, and are ready to engage in foreign policy issues.
As a fellow, McHughen, a cooperative extension plant biotechnologist in UC Riverside's Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, will spend a year in Washington, D.C., during which he will advise State Department officials on issues of science and technology. Soon, McHughen will be assigned to one of the offices or bureaus within State Department or U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he will provide scientific analyses and advice to help inform public policy.
"I am honored to be awarded a Jefferson Science Fellowship," McHughen said. "Science is increasingly the basis of important public policy issues. Even today, my newspaper has stories on climate change, the proposed oil pipeline, food safety, human genomics, vaccines and health, all of which have scientific underpinnings. But there's controversy and scientific misunderstanding surrounding all of these issues. With these technical issues, good public policy requires accurate information and understanding of the scientific foundations."
McHughen noted that the State Department has neither many scientists in house nor a good c
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University of California - Riverside