©2018 by Deborah D Stine LLC.

Science, Technology, and Innovation

Policy Analysis & Education LLC

Teaching

All of the classes I teach are “flipped style”  (https://youtu.be/26pxh_qMppE) and involve problem-based learning, often with “real-world” situations, clients, and guest speakers who are specialist in the field and whom I encourage to also incorporate an activity in their talk to students. 

 

The classes are student-centered -- that is, focused on what students need to learn to be professionals in the field – and not on the organization of any particular text book.  Each class has an activity and often involve short-term (part of a class) or long-term (over a semester) group work.  I view myself as a facilitator of the learning and believe that students learn best “by doing” rather than through a traditional lecture.

 

Overall, my belief is that a class is successful if students are able to retain knowledge related to the key critical thinking skills I am trying to teach them, understand a variety of perspectives on a public policy issue and are able to communicate it accurately and without bias, and are able to work with other students in a team similar to how they would need to work with others in the professional world.

 

Provided below are summaries of classes I teach in:

 

  • Emerging Energy Policies

  • New Technology Commercialization: Public Policy Strategies

  • Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

  • Practical Policy Analysis

  • Shale Gas Policy

 

In addition, I developed a free online class while at Carnegie Mellon -- Public Policy Analysis for Engineers -- that can be taught as a module within a single class (say on cybersecurity) as well as a class, or workshop on its own.  Anywhere from 10 minutes to a semester.    This online program and the related videos can be an independent study or as part of a class taught  by a faculty member or teaching assistant.   Here are the videos  for the program -- available on YouTube.

 

I've also done seminars, workshops, events at annual scientific and technical meetings that teach about public policy analysis as well as how scientists and engineers can best communicate their research to policymakers and the public, and how to advocate for issues important to them such as federal policies on graduate fellowship funding, international student  requirements, and research funding.

 

I've taught these concepts to high school, undergraduate, master and PhD students and professionals.  Classes can be modified to suit any level or timeframe.  They can be one-time workshops, one-hour seminars, weekend or week intensives, or whatever other model fits the program the best.

EMERGING ENERGY POLICIES

Emerging energy policies provide both challenges and opportunities to nations, regions, states, and local communities.  Policymakers must balance these challenges and opportunities to identify the best short- and long-term strategy for their constituents.

Policy analysts provide information and analysis to policymakers so they can make wiser decisions that helps them balance these challenges and opportunities.  Engineers will frequently encounter public policy related issues.  By understanding public policy issues and how they are analyzed, students can

This course will provide students with a better understanding of the:

  •  Past, current, and potential future energy policies;

  • Variety of policy mechanisms available to attain societal energy goals including the use of voluntary standards

  • Energy politics including the political influence of stakeholders and policymakers on the shaping of energy policy.

And skills to conduct:

  • program evaluations of current and past programs and policies;

  • policy analysis of potential future policy mechanisms to achieve new societal energy goals;

  • prince analysis to analyze the potential impact of stakeholders and policymakers on energy policy;

  • critical analysis and contribution to Wikipedia text; and 

  • presentations of policy and political analysis results.


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to describe how energy policies are developed and who influences them, analyze and present a program evaluation/policy analysis/prince analysis for an energy policy, and analyze and respond to emerging issues in energy policy.  

  • Recognize potential policy issues related to an engineering-related activity before it occurs,

  • Identify a potential engineering solution to avoid the public policy challenge in the first place – particularly important for emerging technologies,

  • Improve the your or your organization’s ability to participate in the public policy process by understanding the key institutions and influencers related to that policy,

  • Provide advice to policymakers about engineering and technology-related issues.

NEW TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION:

PUBLIC POLICY STRATEGIES

During this project-based class, students will develop non-market strategies for real-world clients.  As defined, by David Baron, “The nonmarket environment consists of the social, political, and legal arrangements that structure interactions among companies and their public.” 


Entrepreneurs and innovators interested in commercializing technology in the biomedical, energy, transportation, information technology, robotics, aerospace, food, healthcare, and other industries require more than knowing whether a technology works and the potential market. 


Non-market factors such as regulations, standards, and grants influence product, price, location, research, development, and testing, and other decisions.  As a result, public policies provide both opportunities and challenges for the commercialization of an invention.  Only by recognizing these opportunities or overcoming these challenges can an invention become a commercialized innovation.


Examples of opportunities include identifying the need for a new product or process as a result of a government-encouraged technological goal or regulation as well as the potential for Federal, state, or local governments to provide needed startup funds or as a possible early market for a new innovation.  Challenges include the need to address product-related issues such as environmental, health, and safety concerns; field testing; and manufacturing.  In some cases, an agency must approve a product before it can enter the marketplace.  Issues such as standards, patents, trademarks, copyright, open standard, open source, and reimbursement policies provide both opportunities and challenges to the entrepreneur or innovator and a non-market strategy is needed to address them.


Throughout this process, innovators may need to interface with policymakers to obtain the optimal benefit.  In sum, moving a new technology from invention from discovery to launch requires an innovation public policy strategy.


This course will provide students with a better understanding of the:

  • Market and nonmarket environment of business for new technologies.

  • The “four I’s” of the nonmarket environment of business: • Issues • Interests • Institutions • Information

  • Creation, modification, and application of law and government policies for emerging technologies;

  • Influence of non-government factors such as social mores, human rights issues, and other ethical issues.

  • And skills to identify, for emerging technologies, the:

  • Financial opportunities and challenges as a result of public policy actions by governments.

  • Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues for new technologies.

  • Approaches that can be taken in addressing nonmarket issues in a business strategy.

  • Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Develop a public policy non-market strategy for new technologies;

  • Communicate that strategy orally and in writing to entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and policymakers;

  • View new technologies from a variety of perspectives beyond engineering and business.

ENERGY INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In this class, students will learn the fundamentals of energy innovation and entrepreneurship, how innovation and entrepreneurship in energy differs from that in other fields, and practice these skills by either developing a business and non-market strategy for an idea of their own, or build upon energy technological innovations developed by faculty or scientists and engineers in federal laboratories.  The resulting strategy can, if students wish, be submitted for competitions that typically take place each spring throughout the United States.

This course will provide students with a better understanding of the key aspects of a successful:

  • Energy innovation and entrepreneurship venture;

  • Launch of a new venture in energy innovation and entrepreneurship;

  • Management of a new venture in energy innovation and entrepreneurship;

  • Communication strategy for customers, policy makers, investors, and strategic partners for an energy innovation and entrepreneurship venture.​

and skills to:

  • Launch a new venture focused on energy innovation;

  • Manage a new venture focused on energy innovation;

  • Identify opportunities for energy innovation based on research and development and market and non-market opportunities;

  • Develop, explain, and write a business and non-market strategy for an energy innovation. 

SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION POLICY

Science and engineering research, technology and innovations are intricately linked to societal needs and the nation’s economy in areas such as energy, transportation, communication, agriculture, education, environment, health, defense, and jobs. As a result, government policymakers are interested in almost every aspect of science and technology innovations and innovation policy.  Interestingly, the key principles of innovation policy are true internationally, so the principles taught in this class apply to all countries.

Policy analysts provide information and analysis to policymakers so they can make wiser decisions that helps them balance these challenges and opportunities.  Engineers will frequently encounter public policy related issues.  By understanding public policy issues and how they are analyzed, you can

  • recognize potential policy issues related to an engineering-related activity before it occurs,

  • identify a potential engineering solution to avoid the public policy challenge in the first place -- particularly important for emerging technologies,

  • improve the ability of yourself or your organization to participate in the public policy process by understanding the key institutions and influencers related to that policy,

provide advice to policymakers about engineering and technology-related issues.

This course will provide students with a better understanding of the:

  • relationship between science, technology, innovation and economic growth;

  • the policy and process mechanisms used to encourage science, technology, and innovation;

  • how scientific and technical organizations influence the shaping of science, technology, and= innovation policy;

  • basic concepts and tools employed to perform a neutral analysis of science, technology, and innovation policies.

And tools to:

  • conduct a neutral practical policy analysis in a political context;

  • present in written and oral form the results of a neutral policy analysis;

  • develop consensus and negotiating skills.


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to describe how science, technology, and innovation (STI) policies are developed and who influences them, analyze and present a policy analysis in STI policy, and analyze and respond to emerging issues in STI policy

PRACTICAL POLICY ANALYSIS

This class teaches students how to be practical public policy analysts.  Although most think of public policy analysts as solely residing in government or think tanks, today public policy analysts work wherever public policy decisions need to be made including foundations, industry, and non-government organizations due to the increase in public private partnerships for responding to public policy concerns.


Public policy analysts provides “client-oriented advice relevant to public decisions and informed by social values.” (Weimer and Vining). Public policy analysis is “speaking truth to power”  -- a skill that “can be learned but not taught.” (Aaron Wildavsy). This class will provide students with practical policy analysis skills by practicing those skills on current “hot topic” issues and applying the lessons learned on a topic of their choice.


This class will provide students with


  • Better understanding of:

    • public policy analysis as a systematic way of thinking about policy decisions;

    • how public policymakers assess and take actions

  • And skills to:

  • conduct a practical and neutral policy analysis in a political context using Bardach Eight-Fold Path;

  • identify and define public problems systematically;

  • develop a policy-neutral question appropriate for policy analysis;

  • critically assess the accuracy and completeness, and the inherent values and perspectives, in policy-relevant information;

  • identify and evaluate potential policy solutions;

  • select and apply analytical tools;

  • make educated recommendations to policymakers;

  • bring clarity to complex policy issues in written work, such as one-page memorandums, and oral presentations;

  • take a policymaker’s perspective when deciding what action, if any, to take in response to some constituent’s  desire for policy action.

SHALE GAS POLICY

Gas Plant

Shale gas development provides both challenges opportunities to nations. For example, although some are concerned about the impact shale gas development opportunities may have on the environment, others point to its potential to reduce air pollution emissions from coal-fired power plants as they switch to natural gas, and from vehicles as they switch from oil and diesel to natural gas. 


In addition, countries can enhance their energy security if they are able to rely more on energy resources from their own resources or from friendly nations.  Economic consequences include not only the direct jobs from the extraction process, but also downstream job leading to a renaissance in the petrochemical industry and for closer provision of low-cost natural gas to heat homes and buildings during the winter.   Policymakers must balance these challenges and opportunities to identify the best short- and long-term strategy for nations, regions, states, and local communities.

This course will provide students with a better understanding of the:

  • upstream (extraction), midstream (e.g., pipeline and storage), and downstream (e.g., manufacturing, utilities, vehicles) science, technology, innovation, energy, and economic policies.

  • relationship between science, technology, and societal benefits and costs;

  • the policy and process mechanisms used to influence science and technology;

  • basic concepts and tools employed to analyze science and technology policies including policy analysis, program evaluation, risk analysis, cost benefit analysis, life cycle analysis, and political/prince analysis.

And skills to:

  • develop a basic system analysis viewpoint of a technological situation;

  • conduct a practical and credible program evaluation/policy analysis in a political context that takes into account client needs and perspectives, risks, and uncertainties;

  • present controversial information in a neutral and unbiased tone  in both written and oral form.


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to describe the opportunities and challenges associated with shale gas development policies, and be able to present a neutral and unbiased systems analysis focused program evaluation/policy analysis of these policies.