By : Matt Coker

A public forum is being held later today at UC Irvine that aims to “create a bridge between scientists, graduate students, policymakers, political candidates and community members,” according to organizers.

The Science Policy Group at UCI, in affiliation with the Union of Concerned Scientists, hosts “Letting Evidence Lead the Way – A Public Forum on Science Policy” from 4:30 to 8 p.m. in UCI Student Center & Event Services’ Doheny Rooms C and D at 311 W. Peltason Dr., Irvine. Attendance, food and drinks are free.

“During this event, we will discuss evidence-based policy making on various issues currently facing Orange County citizens and the general American society,” organizers announced. “Topics will include renewable energy, air pollution, climate change, toxic substance regulations, STEM education as well as federal and state research funding.”

The Science Policy Group at UCI is a graduate student led group that brings policy-minded scientists and science-minded policy makers together to discuss pertinent societal issues and take local and national action.

At least two Democrats gunning for the 48th congressional district seat now filled by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) are participating. Michael Kotick will speak on a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education panel, according to Leona Laurie, the Michael Kotick for Congress spokeswoman.

“Michael Kotick is a New Generation leader,” reads his campaign bio. “At 34, the Southern California native and Laguna Beach resident has developed and managed over $1 billion dollars in business, while skyrocketing through the ranks of a Fortune 100 business to become one of its youngest executives. Michael is also the author of an innovative new book on business development in a digital and social media age.