SciPol is an interdisciplinary project involving many faculty, staff, and students from Duke University and from other institutions. 

Image citation: Ilyse Whitney, CC BY 2.0

SciPol Leadership

Nita A. Farahany, PhD, JD

Nita Farahany is Director of the Duke University Initiative for Science and Society and a Professor of Law and Philosophy. She is a leading scholar on the ethical, legal, and social implications of biosciences and emerging technologies, particularly those related to neuroscience and behavioral genetics.

Buz Waitzkin, JD, LLM

Michael “Buz” Waitzkin is Deputy Director of S&S, and a Senior Lecturing Fellow. He has extensive experience as a practicing lawyer within the private biomedical and government sectors.

Andrew Pericak, MEM

Andrew Pericak serves as the Editor-in-Chief for SciPol, responsible for general management of the SciPol website and overseeing the work of the students and staff involved with the project. He received the Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2016, at which he specialized in Environmental Economics and Policy. Before that, he received the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Richmond. Andrew also has extensive experience with geographic information systems (GIS) and has produced open spatial data currently used in academic research and public advocacy.

Vertical Leads

The SciPol Vertical Leads direct the content and direction for their respective science vertical on the website.

Scott "Esko" Brummel, MA (Robotics / AI Vertical)

Esko Brummel oversees the development and publication of SciPol content related to robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). He is also a Research Associate in the Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL) within Duke Robotics, where along with Dr. Missy Cummings and the NASA Glenn Research Center he investigates strategies to mitigate inappropriate barriers to technology adoption for space flight. He received his MA in Bioethics and Science Policy from Duke University in 2018. As a student, he has worked in a broad array of projects at the intersection of science and policy.

Holly Leddy, PhD (Nanotechnology Vertical)

Holly Leddy oversees the development and publication of SciPol content related to nanotechnology. Holly also works as a research and development engineer at Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF), a nanotechnology characterization and fabrication multi-user facility. Holly is a micro-imaging specialist and trains new users on a variety of micro- and nano-imaging techniques, including atomic force and scanning electron microscopy, as well as advising users on biomedical related projects. Holly also works with the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network to create and promote nanotechnology related educational outreach. She has created nanotechnology based science outreach programming at SMIF that engages over 2000 K-12 students per year. Prior to joining SMIF, she worked as a researcher in cartilage mechanobiology and arthritis at Duke University Medical Center. Holly received her BA in Biology from Bowdoin College and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University.

Sarah Rispin Sedlak, JD (Energy Vertical)

Sarah Rispin Sedlak oversees the development and publication of SciPol content related to energy, and is jointly supported by Duke Science & Society and the Duke Energy Initiative. She has extensive experience in administrative and environmental law, having litigated matters involving the energy sector before federal and state courts and state utility commissions, and participated in the regulatory comment process at the federal and state level. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was on the board of the University of Chicago Law Review, and wrote and did research on brownfields redevelopment, federalism and environmental law, and administrative law.

Jennifer Tribble, PhD (Genetics & Neuroscience Verticals)

Jennifer Tribble is a Postdoctoral Associate with Science & Society, and leads Neuroscience and Genetics/Genomics policy for SciPol. Jennifer received a PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA in 2018 with a dissertation focused on how the brain changes following a stressor to lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Previously, she received a BS in Chemistry and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Student Staff

Graduate Assistants

SciPol Graduate Assistants help write and edit original policy briefs, write SciPol Summaries for various policies, and provide other specialized assistance across the website.

Production Assistants

SciPol Production Assistants provide various administrative and technical assistance across the website, such as with content creation, website promotion, and social media.

Our current Production Assistants include:

  • Micaela Brewington (Trinity 2019)
  • BJ James (Trinity 2019)
  • Roberto Medrano (Trinity 2021)
  • Lexx Pino (Trinity 2021)
  • Ahana Sen (Trinity 2022)

SciPol Writers Studio

The SciPol Writers Studio is the collection of volunteer students and alumni who help write and edit the original policy briefs.