Lecture series speaker discusses various job prospects for science students

Paxton Thomes

Students working towards degrees in the science field do not have to restrict their future job options to working in a lab or doctor’s office, said a bank official in a lecture Tuesday.

The College of Natural Sciences hosted Joshua Mandell, the science and technology officer at the World Bank in Washington D.C.,as part of the Science for Change lecture series. The series aims to broaden students’ understanding of the roles science and technology have in policy, government, international relations and the economy said Sarah Simmons, assistant dean for honors, research and international studies in the College of Natural Sciences.

“We have invited these speakers to UT-Austin as part of our Scientists for Tomorrow speaker series — part of a National Science Foundation funded program the college has developed — to recruit and train future leaders in science,” Simmons said.

Mandell said he has used his career in science to work at the World Bank, the White House and the British Embassy. Mandell said he works to use his scientific knowledge to improve scientific development worldwide and to create sustainable dialogues between the public and private sectors of countries.

Mandell said he wants science students to use their education to think of novel ways to solve problems in fields such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and climate change.

“I would like for students — whether they are in the United States or in Africa — to think about how their work can solve these kind of problems and for them to form partnerships with components to oversee the resolution of them,” Mandell said.

Biology and economics sophomore Pooja Prabhakar said the lecture appealed to her because she is interested in opportunities to expand their future professions outside of traditional avenues.

“I am a premed major interested in research opportunities,” Prabhakar said. “I am interested in finding a way to merge my degrees and I hope to learn, from these kind of lectures, a way to do so.”

Printed on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 as: Series links government, science studies