Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good

  • Lilly McQueen Photo

Lilly McQueen

Class Year


My Major/ Minor/ Campus Organizations

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Washington D.C.

What should matter to me?

Having public policies that are guided by science is of great importance to me. Science should be used to advise many of the polarizing public policy debates that have been going on for years such as the health care debate and the search for solutions to halt man-made climate change. Living in Washington D.C. for my whole life has given me a front row seat to these conflicts, causing me some frustration with our current policies. It is of immense importance to me that science is given more power in politics. This idea took several years to solidify in my mind and I am sure that there are other topics of great importance to me that just have not surfaced yet.

How should we live together?

We should live with the knowledge that our own perspective is not applicable to all people. We must understand that what we observe is guided by our inherent biases and is no way a true reflection of reality. My Science and the Common Good course was imperative in helping me understand this concept.

I plan to conduct my Parlee Center Internship in an organization that deals with science policy. I would like to learn how to translate scientific research into terms that better suit the political landscape, so that it may better influence policy.

How can we understand the world?

I believe that we have an obligation to question the systems that are in place today and understand where they stem from. I am using my major in biochemistry and molecular biology to better understand what is going on inside our natural world, while my classes in politics and ethics have helped me question the more complex social systems in our world. My Global Health class has helped me question and better understand the narratives around how health problems arise. I have learned that health disparities are caused by a variety of systematic problems that are often not discussed when creating public health policies. I think it would be beneficial for our growth as a society to investigate our common behaviors and social norms to see if we are ignoring some crucial details.

I am performing research under the guidance of Dr. Anthony Lobo and Dr. Mark Ellison. We are using single-walled carbon nanotubes covalently attached to an antibiotic to circumvent the resistance mechanisms present in strains of antibiotic-resistant Enterococcus.

What will I do?

I plan on attending graduate school after Ursinus to attain a PhD in either molecular biology or microbiology. After that I would like to work in a government research laboratory.