In a Perfect Policy Podcast

In a Perfect Policy is a podcast created by the students of University of Wisconsin’s Catalysts for Science Policy. In this podcast we discuss current science policy issues with experts and enthusiasts to understand how policy can shape a better world.

Episode 14- Health in all Policies

Today we’re going to hear an interview about the need for a “Health in All Policies” approach for UW-Madison. Wisconsin Advocates for Public Health is a grassroots organization who collaborates with community organizations and advocates for public health policy and system changes.

This episode was produced by Emily Tran and Maia Gumnit with music by John Leja. Thank you to Amina Maamouri, Nova Tebbe, and Chris Unterberger for the interview.

Released: April 14, 2022

Episode 13- Wisconsin Green Fire

Today we’re talking with Terry Daulton, the board president of Wisconsin’s Green Fire. WGF is a non-partisan, independent nonprofit with a mission to support the conservation legacy of Wisconsin by promoting science-based management of Wisconsin’s natural resources.

This episode was produced by Maia Gumnit with music by John Leja. Thank you to Terry Daulton for the interview and Jenny Oren for help with the episode.

Released: February 14, 2022

Episode 12- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report with Dr. Gregory Nemet

Today we’re talking with Dr. Gregory Nemet, a Professor of Public Affairs at the Wisconsin Energy Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, about the IPCC report.

This episode was produced by Emily Tran, Maia Gumnit, and Isabella Whitworth, with music by John Legia. Thank you to Dr. Gregory Nemet for answering our questions.

Released: October 18, 2021

Episode 11- Green Gentrification in Wisconsin

Today’s episode will focus on Green Gentrification and the unintended consequences of expanding sustainable infrastructure options in Wisconsin.

This episode is based on a policy memo written by CaSP members Julie Davis, Brittany Baur, Sarah Alexander, and Ben Bachman. You can read the full memo here: Policy Options to Mitigate the Impacts of Green Gentrification When Constructing New Bike Paths in the Madison Area

This episode was produced by Chris Unterberger and Maia Gumnit. Thank you to Julie Davis and Brittany Baur for the interview.

Released: September 29, 2021

Episode 10- Paid Sick Leave During Pandemics with WI Rep. Sondy Pope

Today we’re talking about the importance of expanding paid sick leave in Wisconsin, from both a public health and racial equity perspective. This episode features an interview on the topic with Wisconsin Rep. Sondy Pope.

This episode was produced by Maia Gumnit, Lauren Schrader, and Chris Unterberger, with help from Katie Pereira. Thank you to Representative Sondy Pope for answering our questions.

Released: August 12, 2021

Episode 9: COVID-19 Testing

Today we’re talking about the early development of COVID-19 tests, and how a major university started its own testing program to reopen their campus in Fall 2020. This episode was produced by Maia Gumnit and Lauren Schrader, with help from Sebastian Manzo, Chris Unterberger, Kevin Lauterjung, and Robbie Frank. Thank you to Dr. Keith Poulsen and Dr. David O’Connor for answering our questions.

Released: February 16, 2021

Episode 8: Green Infrastructure in Madison, WI

In a recent policy memo, four CaSP members provide recommendations for the City of Madison to create incentive programs for residents to implement green infrastructure. These actions will help the city prepare and adapt to changing climate conditions. In this episode, we will hear from the authors of this CaSP policy memo about their recommendations and the memo writing process in general.

Released: January 14, 2021

Episode 7: Police reform policy

In today’s episode of A Perfect Policy, we explore the state of policing in the United States with Seth Stoughton, Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law and expert in policing and how it is regulated. He served as a police officer with the Tallahassee Police Department and spent three years as an Investigator in the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General. Additionally, he has written multiple book chapters on policing issues and his research has appeared in many top law journals. We discuss some of the obstacles facing police reform like lack of data collection and internal resistance to evidence-based policing. We also comment on the different roles of the federal, state and local government in resolving the problem of police brutality and misconduct.


Released: November 22, 2020

Episode 6: Evidence based policy on controversial issues

This science policy panel pulled from CaSP’s Adult Swim: Science Fair held on July 9th, 2020 consisting of Dr. Jo Handelsman and Kate Austin Stanford focuses on how to use science to craft evidenced-based policy. They discuss the challenges in this work, how science can help solve critical issues in our community, and also provide excitement to get involved in local policy. Their conversation touches on COVID-19, science policy within Wisconsin, and the role of the US within the global scientific community. 

Released: August 17, 2020

Episode 5: Prisons and policies in a pandemic

In this episode, In a Perfect Policy explores the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on prisons. Caitlin Warlick-Short interviews Elina Kostyanovskaya (University of California, San Francisco), Antara Rao (University of California, San Francisco), Thomas Pospiech (University of Michigan), and Jack Stevenson (University of California, San Francisco) about how they launched an effort to get hand sanitizer to prisons and jails to combat the spread of COVID-19. You can donate to this effort here

For a more in-depth discussion on the impacts on the pandemic on prisons, we recommend this episode from the Geripal podcast featuring Dr. Brie Williams, activist Adnan Khan and musician Eric Maserati-E Abercrombie. For National Science Policy members  interested in addressing needs in their community related to COVID-19, the National Science Policy Network is offering a grant opportunity with the COVID-19 Response Fund.

 In a Perfect Policy is supported by funding from the National Science Policy Network. Editing by Maia Gumnit, Chris Unterberger, and Jenny Bratburd. Music by John Leja

Released: August 7, 2020

Episode 4: Keeping up with Coronavirus

In this episode, Wisconsin State Laboratory bioinformatician Kelsey Florek and In a Perfect Policy Host Jenny Bratburd discuss coronavirus (COVID-19), including the challenges in massively scaling up testing, the role of genomics in the pandemic, using new technologies for tracking the virus and more!

You can find Kelsey on Twitter @kelsey_florek, up-to-date information on coronavirus tracking with Next Strain here, and a crowdsourced scientist-led volunteer effort to answer any questions related to COVID-19 here!

Released: April 25, 2020

Episode 3: Electing Scientists

In this episode of In a Perfect Policy, hosts Jenny Bratburd and Kevin Lauterjung discuss scientists in politics with Shaughnessy Naughton, founder of 314 Action, an organization dedicated to electing more members of STEM into office. 

Released: April 1, 2020

Episode 2: Ideas across the National Science Policy Network

In a Perfect Policy Episode 2: Ideas Across the National Science Policy Network.  We interviewed 11 students and early-career science policy professionals at the National Science Policy Network’s Symposium in Madison, Wisconsin on November 2, 2019 to hear their ideas of a perfect policy. This episode is packed with diverse issues: evidence based policies, indigenous STEM education, nuclear energy, nuclear treaties, vaccination policies, post-harvest food loss, how students can bring science to societies, and more!
Order of interviews: Michael Bellecourt @mjbellecourt, Katie Mummah @nuclearkatie, Daniel Puentes @NuclearPuentes, Vania Lopez, Noah Horan @builttheark, Luz M. Cumbia García @lmilbeth, Gurnimrat Sidhu @NimuSidhu, Ben Rush @RushScience, Avital Percher @AvitalPercher, Dylan Verden, Edna Chiang @EdnaChiang
Released: March 2, 2020

Episode 1: Diversity in STEM

In this first episode we talk about diversity and underrepresented minorities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with two phenomenal guests: 1) Jo Handelsman, Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, former science advisor to President Barack Obama, contributor to the field of microbiology, and advocate against gender bias in STEM; 2) Derrick Smith, Director of Development at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and founding member of 100 Black Men of Madison, a mentoring organization for disadvantaged youth. We also feature special guest PhD candidate and role model for young girls in STEM, Tiaira Porter!

Released: Sept. 30th, 2019.