Washington University ProSPER

Graduate student group at Washington University in St. Louis dedicated to promoting science policy, education, and research.

ProSPER Blog posts are educational exercises intended to develop students’ communication skills. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ProSPER or Washington University in St. Louis.

On the Origins of “The March of Progress”

On the Origins of “The March of Progress”

The image is iconic: A lineup of six figures. At the rear is an ape-like figure, crouched-over and walking on all fours. Ahead of it is a similar-looking figure, but one who's walking on two feet. This trend continues, with each successive figure becoming a little taller, a little less hunched, and little less hairy […]
CRISPR-edited Babies Scandal Highlights Inconsistent International Policy

CRISPR-edited Babies Scandal Highlights Inconsistent International Policy

On November 25, news broke that a Chinese scientist, Dr. He Jiankui, had allegedly produced the first CRISPR-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. This set off a firestorm within the international scientific community. He has been accused of violating numerous scientific conventions, ethical safeguards, and the global consensus on human germline gene modification. The scandal has been described […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri $12 Minimum Wage Increase Measures

The Missouri 2018 general election ballot will include Proposition B, a proposed state statue to change the minimum wage. Minimum wage changes are based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), a consumer price index that reports annual consumer prices. Currently, the minimum wage in Missouri is $7.85/hour while […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri Cannabis Legalization Measures

In the 2018 midterm elections, voters in four states, including Missouri, will be faced with ballot measures to allow for the prescription and possession of medical cannabis. The ballot in Missouri for medical cannabis legalization is especially unique as three separate initiatives will be presented to voters: Missouri Amendment 2, Amendment 3, and Proposition C. […]

Ballot Issue Breakdown: Missouri Constitutional Amendment 1

Constitutional Amendment 1 has been called the “Clean Missouri” initiative and was put on the 2018 general election ballot with the support of 231,460 registered Missouri voters. Its purpose is to “clean up” Missouri political corruption to make politics more fair and less influenced by money and lobbyists. The amendment would accomplish this by changing the […]
How to Register to Vote

How to Register to Vote

In honor of National Voter Registration Week, we’ve compiled a list of resources for a quick and easy guide on how to register to vote in the US.   How to Check if You're Registered Go to the nonprofitvote website and select the state you think you might be registered in. The website will direct […]
Primer: Vaccine Policy

Primer: Vaccine Policy

The administration, distribution, and safety of vaccines are regulated through multiple federal agencies as well as through state-level statutes. Two main bodies oversee administration and safety of vaccines: the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in the FDA (FDA VRBPAC) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the CDC (ACIP). The FDA VRBPAC […]
Puzzle Pieces

Puzzle Pieces

One of the most pressing tasks for scientists of any era is the reconciliation of research with the public good. This call must be answered both socially, by an understandable dialogue between academia and society, and cautiously, with a careful eye on the relevance of our work.  Socially, science speaks its own language. Today's scientific […]