November 2010

Carrie Chambers

Hill-Day-Attendees,-ChambersGraduate Student
Wichita State University

What is your research focus? 
My research focus is on the molecular mechanisms behind glycosylation of human follicle-stimulating hormone. We are investigating a potential regulatory mechanism believed to influence the relative concentration of a more biologically potent form of hFSH, and, by extension, may possibly influence the onset of menopause.

Have you ever done anything like this before? 
I went to the state capitol to present my graduate research to state officials with other students from universities in Kansas.

What are your career plans?  
I would like to go into academia. I can see myself as a professor at a university overseeing my own laboratory.

Why do you think scientists should be involved in politics, and what do you think is the most important issue in science policy?
Scientists are trained to remove subjectivity from the environment in which they perform the tasks of their profession. This requirement allows them a perspective that seems rarely shared by individuals in other professions and could lend itself a great deal to the development of policies. The professional expertise brought by scientists to the creation of policies regarding research, research funding and related topics is invaluable. This, by extension, influences the development and production of scientific advances that could hold significant value by producing jobs, revenue and improving quality of life.

Regarding important scientific policy, currently, environmental policies seem entirely inadequate. Developing policies that require collection, analysis and interpretation of scientific data, such as those regarding the environment, may, more appropriately, be addressed by individuals with a background in science, as opposed to a background in politics. I feel that public perception and personal attitudes towards environmental issues generate a great deal of controversy, and are directed too much by financial influences. These more inconsequential concerns greatly decrease the efficiency of progress in this area. Given the gravity of environmental impacts not only on human health, but also on the well-being of wildlife, I would hope to see progression toward more stringent environmental policies.



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