From the bench to the Hill: science policy (and sale shopping)

On Wednesday, I gave a breakout session talk on science policy jobs at MIT. I love talking about science policy, so it's not too hard to get me to do it - it's harder to get me to stop - and we had a great group of Boston-area grad students who asked excellent questions. Very fun.

The talk did force me to reflect on how different things are in my life since I left the bench. I'm certainly working no fewer hours (apparently Scienceblogs has been experiencing a denial of service attack this week, and I did not even notice. Bad sign). I still often have to do things I don't particularly enjoy, only now it's poring over terms of service, privacy policies, and so on. But I do like seeing the big picture: where and how science impacts law, society, government, etc. It's fascinating.

So I have two things to share with any readers interested in getting away from the bench and wearing a suit (horrors!). First - and this is the only link I shared at my talk - Sheril's list at the Intersection is still the best place I know of to find links to science policy fellowships. AAAS is still the gold standard (not that i'm unbiased), but there are many options, so don't feel like that's your only option.

Second, clothes that are perfectly serviceable in the lab don't always work in the, ahem, extra-scientific world. As I told my group, you may actually have to wear suits to your policy job. (I think maybe some of them changed their minds about policy at that moment). And that's expensive, as many of you already know. To prepare to head back to DC this summer, I've been doing a lot of judicious online shopping to try to catch suits, jackets, etc. on sale. A couple of months ago, I skeptically signed up for something which has actually turned out to be very helpful, and - after I got a Banana Republic wool trenchcoat in my size for 1/4 the original price - I finally decided it's worth sharing with y'all, even though it's not the sort of thing I usually post.

The service is called ShopItToMe: you tell it your clothing size, what brands and items of clothing you are looking for, and it sends you an email once or twice weekly (you pick) alerting you to sales on what you want, where you'd like to shop, in your size. They've never sent me any unwanted spam, period, so after a couple of months of shopping sales through their emails, I feel safe passing the link along: ShopItToMe information & signup. (and yes, that's a referral link, so if you don't want me to get credit for sending you, feel free to go to their main site and sign up that way).

Unfortunately, ShopItToMe has no category for steampunk-goth-retro-anatomical clothing, so for that you'll still have to go to Haute Macabre or coilhouse or Street Anatomy. But for sedate, non-skeletal clothing you can wear to an office, it could be useful. I'm honestly really glad I signed up; it saves me a lot of time, and keeps me from being unnecessarily exposed to the non-sale splash pages of online retailers (darn you, Banana Republic, and all your ilk!). Anyway - FYI.

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