The Aspen Institute Science & Society Program

The Aspen Institute (AI) is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. We are committed to driving change toward a free, just, and equitable society. That is our purpose, and we pursue it relentlessly in everything we do-- with respect for all and with humanistic optimism. The Aspen Institute programs have achieved an international reputation as an effective and impartial forum for constructive dialogue on significant issues. The goal is to create a space where individuals can come together to work toward a greater good. The broad impacts of the Aspen Institute as a whole can be found in our 2020 impact report: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/2020-Impact-Re....

Working with an intern not only enables us to increase exposure and advance the knowledge and skills of a student through a comprehensive learning experience, but AI will benefit as well. We benefit from the working with a student in that they will support us in accomplishing our goals, provide a new perspective/lens through which to view our efforts and make meaningful contributions to our work that extend beyond the length of the internship. We also are afforded the opportunity to mentor and guide the next generation of leaders.

City/State

Washington, DC

Internship Description

The Science & Society Program, whose mission is to democratize science as a guiding force for public good, convenes experts in solutions-oriented strategy sessions, mobilizes a diverse constituency of science advocates, and implements public outreach efforts and initiatives. Recent notable outcomes across various media channels include:

  • DOCUMENTARY SERIES: “Infodemic,” a PBS docu-series investigating the costs of science denialism featuring science experts from 11 countries.
  • GLOBAL CONFERENCE: Global Science Congress for 100 science advocates from 50+ countries to share and disseminate best practices for effective public science communication
  • MAGAZINES:
    • The Case for an American Science Corps
    • The Future of Science in America
    • The Pandemic Issue: A magazine exploring new horizons in science and society emerging from COVID-19

We understand that many of society’s most pressing issues are scientific: e.g., the disproportionate impact of COVID-19, climate change, sustainable agriculture, water management, etc. As such, youth activists are at the forefront of these issues and have brought to light links between global matters and experiences of marginalized populations. Institutions must embrace their respective and collective roles in democratizing science so that society can realize racial and scientific justice. The Science & Society Program in partnership with Coda Societies is launching “Our Future Is Science” (OFIS), a new initiative to link STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and social justice, and to position societally minded youth as leaders and innovators who will push science forward in the 21st century.

Our vision is to dismantle historic barriers to science and leverage the richness of Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) insights in order to develop the field of science in unique ways and position these individuals as the next generation of the growing scientific workforce. Thus, OFIS has 3 pillars: 1) a social media campaign, 2) a mentorship forum that pairs high school students and STEAM graduate student mentors; and 3) a nation-wide science ambassador effort to support mentees in communicating about the link between STEAM and social justice throughout their communities and on social media. The initiative will help grow a thriving new cohort of practitioners, researchers, and critical thinkers in science by shaping educational and career avenues for youth, especially those of underrepresented identities.

We seek a creative, motivated, and organized communications intern in Summer 2022. The intern will work on OFIS initiative and others from the Science & Society Program. They will gain knowledge relevant to topical areas such as civic science, and issues at the intersection of science and society (e.g., linking social justice and STEAM) as well as diversity and equity. Our intern will also learn and demonstrate experience related to nonprofit program planning and evaluation, social media/communications management- and the execution of strategies, community outreach, etc. They will support the Program Director and other team members in developing, implementing and evaluating OFIS; as well as looking for opportunities to enhance our efforts and outcomes. We will work with the intern to set goals and objectives for the internship and ensure that the right supports are provided to ensure success.

# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transit Housing  Format
10 Flexible 9:00 am 5:00 pm  No No Virtual/Remote

Housing Information

This is a remote position, so housing is not needed.

Internship Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have/be:

  • Experience in science outreach, public engagement/relations, science communication, social sciences, or equivalent fields
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Interest in connecting communications research and practice
  • Able to effectively engage with diverse communities
  • Experience working with minors/youth
  • Savvy with social media platforms (e.g., TikTok, Instagram) to engage public audiences
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office and Google Workspace

Additional preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in program or project management
  • Proficiency in media production
  • Familiarity with accessing and interpreting digital audience demographic data

Writing Sample Required

The candidate should show an academic paper, blog post, or other writing that demonstrates their writing ability. We also accept media projects from a student's portfolio.

Special Requirements

  • Background Check
  • Citizenship Requirements
  • Vaccinations