California, Where Science Thrives

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

As we enter 2017, we can be proud that California is a state where science and technology thrives.

There has always been a place for science in California, and a role for science in California’s policymaking process. California is now the sixth largest economy in the world—an achievement undoubtedly seeded by Californians’ zest for knowledge, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship, and by the foundation our State government has laid for education, innovation, and community.

California’s policies are stronger with science—a core belief and motto for all of us at CCST. We were created as a science partner to the State in 1988, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to bring objective and unbiased science to our policymaker partners.

Simply naming CCST’s network of Sustaining Institutions and Federal Laboratory Affiliates—one is assured that no matter the challenge, California’s has the expertise and facilities to study and recommend possible solutions. CCST stands ready to help State leaders navigate the research and resources of the UC System, the CSU System, California Community Colleges, Stanford University, Caltech, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and others.

With partners like these by our side, CCST will press on with our mission of facilitating conversations and knowledge-sharing between State leaders and scientists. In 2017, CCST will be assembling impartial, vetted input on key science and technology issues such as natural gas storage and biomethane. Our California Teacher Advisory Council (CalTAC) will be teaming up with their National Academy of Sciences counterpart to develop ideas on cultivating policy leadership for STEM educators. And we have recruited yet another talented class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows—nine PhD scientists who have taken the plunge into public policy careers by spending a year learning and working as staff in California State Senate and California State Assembly committees.

I am proud of our good work — and I am grateful for the growing community of dedicated, quality friends and champions like you who share our commitment to science.

Let’s get 2017 started!

— Susan Hackwood

A new year brings new beginnings for our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows — PhD scientists taking their first steps towards careers in government policy.

Susan Hackwood, PhD, is the Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology.

“Message from the Director” and “Message from the Deputy Director” are regularly published as part of our CCST Spotlight email newsletter. Sign up to receive CCST Spotlight by email at

The California Council on Science and Technology is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established via the California State Legislature to advise the State of California on issues of science and technology. Find CCST on Facebook at, on Twitter @CCSTorg, and on LinkedIn. Learn more about CCST at

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