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Science and Engineering can shape and inform Public Policy and, therefore, the way that a society tackles its complex challenges. Reciprocally, Public Policy shapes both the content and the way that Science and Engineering are accomplished.

Therefore, success in science and engineering enterprises requires not only a knowledge of technical topics, but also an understanding of the context in which science and engineering are undertaken.

This context includes the nature of government funding for research and development, the impact of politics on research agendas, and the mechanisms of policy-making that supports or regulates science and engineering. Equally critical is the way that innovation is accomplished in organizations and the facilitators and inhibitors of communities’ adoption of innovation. This minor illustrates the differences between technical culture and political culture and the necessity of communicating technical risk and uncertainties in a manner customs for audiences.

The Science and Engineering in the Public Interest Minor will give students the knowledge and skills needed to act, innovate, and lead in the public interest.