Self-described “brain nerd” and neuroscientist Debra Cooper describes her transition from laboratory research to science policy and gives an overview of the multifaceted roles scientists can do in this field. Scientists can lend their expertise as legislative staffers, lobbyists, or advocates, all of which require translating technical research data into relevant information for policymakers. By helping to bridge the misinformation gap in such fields as drug abuse and mental health, scientists like Cooper can be involved in the functional application of scientific research in society.
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About the Speaker
Debra Cooper is a Policy Consultant in the California State Senate Office of Research where she provides the State Senate with information on human services, mental health, and veterans affairs issues. Dr. Cooper was a 2015 Science & Technology Policy Fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology. Her graduate research at Emory University and postdoctoral research at the University of Texas Medical Branch focused on investigating pharmacological treatments for cocaine abuse.
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