Natalie joined SCi in 2020 as strategic advisor and curriculum lead and now serves as SCi Co-director. Natalie is deeply committed to creating innovative learning experiences that guide scientists to think critically and broadly about the social implications and ethical considerations of scientific innovation. She co-developed and co-teaches “Ditching the Deficit Model: Science Communication for Ethical Community Engagement,” “Environmental Ethics and Justice,” and the nanocourse series on the “Governance and Ethics of Biotechnology.” Issues of justice and access deeply inform her work. She takes great pride in making SCi curriculum open-access and available to all; she led the development of SCi’s open-access CRISPR Online Learning Module. Natalie is the founding director of Editing Nature – a global initiative to steer responsible development and deployment of genetic technologies. She is a leading voice in CRISPR and synthetic biology ethics and governance, authoring numerous publications on the topic, serving on expert panels, and contributing to UN mandated documents. Her work has been highlighted by The New York Times, Science, Nature, NPR, CBC radio, Pacific Standard Magazine, and National Geographic. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and served as a visiting fellow at the Harvard University Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics, a resident scholar in sustainability a the University of Illinois and a visiting scholar at the Hastings Center for Bioethics. She received her PhD in cellular, molecular, and medical biosciences and MS in human nutrition and metabolic studies from Columbia University and her BS in human anatomy and cell biology from McGill University.
DAN POMEROY, PhD
Daniel Pomeroy joined the Scientific Citizenship Initiative in 2020 as its first Executive Director and now serves as co-Director. Prior to joining SCi he developed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Policy Lab at the Center for International Studies, which creates and enhances relationships between MIT researchers with the public policy makers. Dr. Pomeroy serves on the external advisory board and steering committees of a number of programs designed to increase civic engagement and expand career opportunities for scientists and engineers. These include Boston University’s Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program and the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Dr. Pomeroy received his Ph.D. in physics from Brandeis University in 2012 studying high energy physics. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Academy of Sciences and as a AAAS Science and Technology Policy fellow in the office of Senator Edward J. Markey. He also has extensive experience in grassroots political organizing, running volunteer LGBT rights campaigns, as well as professionally directing field offices during the 2008 elections.
Chelsea Marcho, PhD
Chelsea Marcho joined the Scientific Citizenship Initiative (SCi) in 2023 as the Program Coordinator. Prior to joining SCi, she worked as an International Science Advisor and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS). She also served as the Communications Lead for the RFS Research Community of Practice. Chelsea holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where her research focused on epigenetic regulation during early mammalian development. After completing her graduate training, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the UMASS School of Public Health and currently serves as a visiting scholar in the College of Natural Sciences.
Faculty Founder and Special Advisor
ANGELA DEPACE, PhD
Angela DePace joined the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School in 2008, where her laboratory investigates the mechanism and evolution of gene expression in animals — fundamental biology with implications for personalized medicine. Her research couples mathematical theory to quantitative experiments in Drosophila embryos to test basic assumptions about how transcription is controlled, and to predict the output of regulatory sequences in the genome.
She teaches scientific communication and co-authored the book “Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers”. She is widely recognized for her commitment to mentoring and career development for graduate students, and has shared her methods through invited seminars, a popular article, and an online course offered by iBiology. She received an NSF CAREER award in acknowledgment of her innovative research and teaching. She is also the founding faculty director of the Scientific Citizenship Initiative (SCi), which aims to train scientists for effective civic engagement and facilitate a cultural shift in academia to enable and value engagement of scientists at all career stages.
Dr. DePace received her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale College, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.
Tosin is a visual brand strategist and a final year Master of Architecture student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her creative work is informed by research in psychology, behavioural economics, marketing theory, and art history. She has a particular interest in social responsibility and ethics in marketing. She has carried that as a pillar in her work through the academy and professionally, serving clients via her design agency Atelier Oluwatosin (www.oluwatosin.net). Tosin joined SCi’s communications team to coordinate with the organization leaders as they evolved into a fresh visual brand identity, sought to expand their reach across academia and beyond, and increased their connectivity to the existing community.
Brian is a political theorist and Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. He writes on topics at the intersection of ethics, democratic theory, and the law. Brian joined SCi in 2019 – 2020 to help develop the curriculum for the Governance and Ethics of Biotechnology nanocourses, and he is currently working on material for a new course on the ethics of solar geoengineering. Previously, he worked in science policy and professional ethics at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.
Pariroo is a 4th year PhD candidate studying Science and Technology Studies (STS) in the Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. Her doctoral work looks at how state-led efforts towards the digitization of the economy in India transforms the lives of informal workers and the distribution of responsibility for economic wellbeing across state and non-state institutions. At SCi, Pariroo has developed and taught several modules on Science Policy. She uses STS concepts and lenses to illuminate ethical and political issues that underlie the production and uptake of science and technology in the contemporary world.
Civic Science Clinic Coordinator
Slater is 6th year PhD student in the Neurobiology Department at Harvard Medical School. As SCi’s Civic Science Clinic Coordinator, Slater is working to organize the 2023 CSC Summer Fellowship. Slater is a former SCi State House Fellow; in 2020 he served in the office of Rep. Dylan Fernandes, where he published a report on the looming ocean acidification crisis.
Carmel Shachar, JD, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.
Carmel’s scholarship focuses on law and health policy, in particular the regulation of value-based health care payment and delivery structures, access to care for vulnerable individuals, health care anti-discrimination law and policy, and the use of all-payer claims databases in health care research. Carmel is also a Lecturer at Law on Harvard Law School, where she co-teaches a course on “Health Care Rights in the Twenty-First Century.”
Carmel was previously a Clinical Instructor on Law at the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School (CHLPI), where she helped lead CHLPI’s access to care and Affordable Care Act implementation work. During her time at CHLPI, Carmel focused on analyzing and translating health policy issues and opportunities for a broad range of audiences, including many federal and state-level health policy coalitions. She also coordinated and led a major multi-state initiative to document discriminatory benefit designs on the health insurance Marketplaces.
Carmel graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was a student fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center, and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
RA’SHAUN NALLS, MPA
Director of Community Engagement, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Ra’Shaun Nalls has served as the director of community engagement within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health since 2015. In addition to serving as an ambassador and connector between the school and the communities surrounding the Longwood Medical Area campus, he also is the co-director of the Leaders in Health Community Training Program, interim director of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship, a Rose Service-Learning Fellowship committee, and is a co-instructor for the SBS 501 Community-Based Participatory (CBPR) course. His professional background includes over 15 years working with Boston-area community-based nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on positive youth development, community organizing, and political advocacy. He has been acknowledged for his community service by the Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), the Boston Foundation, Boston Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center.
Ra’Shaun holds a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies, both from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He is currently a higher education administration doctoral student whose research interests include critical race theory, community-engaged scholarship, and faculty tenure and promotion.
MICHELLE FRANK, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
Michelle Frank is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School with a secondary field in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) through the Harvard Kennedy School. She also serves on the executive boards of the science communication group Science in the News and Harvard’s GSAS Science Policy Group.
Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics
REBECCA W. BRENDEL, MD, JD
Director, Master of Bioethics Degree Program, Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics
Rebecca Weintraub Brendel, MD, JD, is the director of the Master’s Degree Program at the Harvard Medical School Center for Bioethics. She bases her clinical work in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) where she is the director of Law and Ethics at the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior, provides medical oversight for the hospital’s inpatient guardianship team, and practices clinical and forensic psychiatry. Dr. Brendel has served in multiple roles at MGH over the past decade including as medical director of the One Fund Center for Boston Marathon bombing survivors, a psychiatrist on the Law & Psychiatry and Consultation Psychiatry Services, as clinical director of the Red Sox Foundation/ MGH Home Base Program for post 9/11 service members and their families, and as associate director of the MGH-based Harvard Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. Dr. Brendel is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Rebecca BrendelDr. Brendel graduated from both University of Chicago Law School and Pritzker School of Medicine.
Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
Assistant Director of Communications and Development, Edmon & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University
Maggie is the Assistant Director of Communications and Development at Harvard’s Edmon & Lily Safra Center for Ethics. She was the project manager for the Justice, Health, and Democracy Project on public health paradigms for drug control and criminal justice reform from 2016-2020. She was an AFP Fellow in 2015-16, and during that was a research manager on the Tensions of Force project for two former faculty affiliates of the Center, while also acting as the Managing Editor of Transforming Anthropology, the flagship journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists, which they co-edited.
Maggie is co-chair of the Executive Committee for the Committee on the Concerns of Women, a Harvard Employee Resource Group. She has been a member of CCW since 2018.
Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
PhD Student studying Systems Biology, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School
Natives Nations Institute, University of Arizona
RILEY TAITINGFONG, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Natives Nations Institute, University of Arizona
Riley Taitingfong is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Arizona (Udall Center & Native Nations Institute). Her interdisciplinary research is interested in the impacts of emerging technologies on Indigenous lands and resources. Her current projects focus on Indigenous sovereignty in relation to emerging technologies and data governance. Riley holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at the University of California San Diego.
Ethics Unwrapped at UT Austin
Founder, Ethics Unwrapped at UT Austin
Cara Biasucci leads multimedia content development and is a strategic advisor for SCI. She is also Director of Ethics Education for the Center for Leadership and Ethics, and Creator of Ethics Unwrapped, an award-winning ethics video series produced at The University of Texas at Austin.
Cara develops educational programs that focus on ethics and leadership. Her latest book, Behavioral Ethics in Practice: Why We Sometimes Make the Wrong Decisions, is a primer on behavioral ethics and was co-authored with Robert Prentice. Most recently, she wrote about teaching behavioral ethics for the forthcoming book series Teaching Ethics Across the American Educational Experience.
Before her deep dive into academia, Cara was a freelance filmmaker. She wrote, produced, and directed award-winning films and television programs for more than a decade for clients such as American Public Television, Discovery Times, Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the New England Patriots. Her documentary films were supported by (among others) The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Engender Health, and Women in Film.
Cara also taught media production at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her MFA in Film & Video Production from The University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in philosophy magna cum laude from Bowdoin College.
Assistant Dean for Student Development and Evaluation
Program and Communications Manager
Josep-Andreu Palacios-Caballero joined the Scientific Citizenship Initiative as Initiative and Communications Coordinator in late 2019, after a previous collaboration with the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School. Before joining SCI he worked as a PR and Press Relations Assistant at Eurecat technology center in Barcelona, Spain, where he supported science outreach efforts for the general public.
He holds a background in content creation, social media managing, and corporate communications, and has worked in B2B startups on soft skills analysis and business innovation. Outside SCI, he devotes part of his time advocating for sustainable mobility and equitable transportation.
Josep graduated in Journalism studies in 2014 from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and has experience in news reporting and multilingual broadcasting for international media outlets, including an owned website on explanatory journalism.
Assistant Dean for Student Development and Evaluation
JASON HEUSTIS, PhD
Dr. Jason Heustis is the Assistant Dean for Student Development and Evaluation for Graduate Education and Lecturer on Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. Jason teaches graduate students, develops skills-building curriculum, deploys career preparation programming, builds online platforms to promote student well-being and professional success, and assesses graduate student learning and development. Jason received an Honors B.S. in Biology and an Honors B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science from Saint Louis University (MO) and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology from Tufts University (Medford, MA), before completing a post-doctoral Curriculum Fellowship at Harvard Medical School.