Lunch Seminar Series

Lunch Seminar Template.png

What drives scientists to get involved in policy? What are the motivations and moralities that drive scientists toward greater advocacy and engagement? What are some of the barriers they encounter, and how do differing orientations toward the role of science in the world drive them to overcome these? And what can the experiences of individual scientists tell us about the changing landscape of science advocacy in a world of post-factual politics? Hear from Andrew Pericak and Alexandra Sutton Lawrence, science topic leads within the Duke SciPol program (, about their experiences in the world of science policy—both as advocates and as researchers. Plus, learn more about SciPol’s efforts in tracking federal science policy across government and communicating developments to the public.


Andrew Pericak, MEM – Research Associate, Duke University Initiative for Science & Society

  • Andrew contributes to and edits content for SciPol. He received the Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2016, at which he specialized in Environmental Economics and Policy. Before that, he received the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Richmond. Andrew also has extensive experience with geographic information systems (GIS) and has produced open spatial data currently used in academic research and public advocacy.

Alexandra Sutton Lawrence, MSc – Research Associate, Duke University Initiative for Science & Society and Duke Energy Initiative

  • As SciPol’s Lead Editor for Energy, Alexandra holds a joint appointment with the Energy Initiative. She is a doctoral candidate of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke, where she works with Professor Stuart Pimm to study best practices in biodiversity conservation. Her dissertation, Conservation in the Human Landscape, comprises case studies of leadership, management, and finance in global environmental initiatives. She has held previous policy positions at The Wildlife Society and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and her research has been supported by The Explorers’ Club; National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative; and Sigma Xi. She is also the founder of Kedge Conservation, a social innovation startup that works to promote financial literacy, access, and equity in East & Southern Africa.



Check out our previous Lunch Seminar Series Speakers.