- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Anna Goldstein: Bridging the Gap Between Scientists and Policymakers

  • Stephanie Wheeler
| Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Anna Goldstein is, at the moment, a scientist standing at a crossroad. Since her PhD from University of California, Berkeley is in chemistry, one might imagine Goldstein working in the lab. Instead, she’s at the Belfer Center researching the policy side of technology.

“I was a sophomore when I caught the energy bug,” says Goldstein, a fellow with the Center’s Energy Technology Innovation Policy (ETIP) research group. When asked about her interest in pursuing clean technology both through science and policy, she says she has always been concerned about issues of human welfare and societal problems, but her interest found a focus as she learned more about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. “My instinct was that if we had clean energy technology that was cheap, people would of course use it.”

Goldstein believes in activism for clean energy. She also understands that its high cost can make it inaccessible to people with a limited income, no matter the benefits. When she realized all of the moving parts that go into obtaining this clean energy ideal, she began to gear her own efforts towards policy.

Through her research, Goldstein hopes to provide a deeper understanding of how governments can stimulate innovation, for example by motivating research and development in energy companies that will eventually make this energy more accessible.

While her research is in the early stages, she is optimistic about practical uses her findings may offer nationally and internationally.

When asked what’s next, Goldstein laughs and says she’s only just arrived at the Belfer Center. However, she sees herself continuing to work in a policy-related capacity, possibly as a translator of sorts, bridging the gap between scientists and policymakers. She likes the idea of helping policymakers prioritize policy needs based on the latest scientific findings. “Policymakers just don’t have the time to read and absorb every new scientific paper out there.”

So while Goldstein may be shifting disciplines at the moment, she realizes the importance of being at this crossroad.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Wheeler, Stephanie. Anna Goldstein: Bridging the Gap Between Scientists and Policymakers.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Fall/Winter 2015-2016).

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