The Growler

Plans of Mice and Men: From Bench Science to Science Policy

• Dr. Simon was always passionate about science generally, and he learned more became particularly interested in virology and retroviruses.
• In the midst of his graduate career, he began attending graduate student government meetings, mostly for the free pizza and beer. But as he attended these meetings he found he developed a passion for policy that improved people’s lives.
• After his graduate program, Dr. Simon was awarded the Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to work in health policy in South Korea for a year immediately following his graduate program. 
• After he returned from this year abroad, he began looking for science policy jobs in the States. Eventually, he landed a position in then-Sentate Majority Leader Harry Ried’s office where he would inform the senator on issues pertaining to science policy.


Dr. Ian Simon reflects on the satisfactions and challenges of a career in science policy, and on the chain of events that moved him from bench science to policy analysis.

Graduating from Yale University with a PhD in microbiology, Dr. Simon has studied international science policy in South Korea and has served as Health and Science Adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State. Now a Policy Analyst at the Science and Technology Policy Institute, he provides rigorous and objective analysis of science policy issues for the White House. Sponsored by the Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good.