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Writing Science Notes for Local and State Policymakers

3MT Featured Home Inclusive Excellence Individual Development Plan (IDP) PostDoc Association Professional Development Upcoming Events September 16, 2021 4:30pm-6:30pm


Hybrid- Virtual (Zoom) and In Person (Schnuck Pavilion at Washington University)


Brittany Whitley, PhD

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Policy writing comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, traditionally developed to serve a specific purpose. In Missouri, our lawmakers are accustomed to seeing fiscal notes attached to pending legislation and are also beginning to expect to see ‘science notes’ attached to upcoming bills to describe the relevant scientific background of that topic.

Science notes are 2-4 page memos that contain an executive summary, highlights and limitations, and a detailed overview of research and data related to a specific topic. MOST Policy Fellows write science notes at the request of lawmakers, but any scientist interested in a topic can write and submit community science notes on other policy-relevant topics.

In this workshop, we will discuss best practices for general policy writing and the background of ‘science notes’. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to work in teams to begin drafting a science note and get live feedback from experts. Finally, participants will work with the MOST team to share their science notes broadly to Missouri policymakers.

For more information on science notes, visit

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