People

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

Image citation: Ilyse Whitney, CC BY 2.0

SciPol.org 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 the Duke University Initiative for Science & Society, and a Senior Lecturing Fellow. He has extensive experience as a practicing lawyer within the private biomedical and government sectors.

Matt Perault, JD

Matt Perault is an Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Center for Science & Technology Policy within the Initiative for Science & Society. Matt previously served as a director of public policy at Facebook. He led the company’s global public policy planning efforts on issues such as competition, law enforcement, and human rights and oversaw public policy for WhatsApp, Oculus, and Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research. Prior to joining Facebook, Matt was Counsel at the Congressional Oversight Panel. He previously worked as a consultant at the World Bank and served as a law clerk for the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Matt holds a law degree from Harvard Law School, a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Brown University.

Andrew Pericak, MEM

Andrew Pericak serves as the Editor-in-Chief for SciPol.org, responsible for general management of the SciPol.org 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.

SciPol.org Topic Leads & Lead Policy Analysts

These SciPol.org staff direct the content and direction for their respective science and technology topics on the website.

Maria Carnovale, PhD (Emerging Tech, Environment, Data Security)

Maria Carnovale writes and curates content related to Emerging Tech, Environment, and Data Security on SciPol.org. Prior to joining Science and Society, Maria was a researcher and instructor at the Energy, Resources, and Environment Program of Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. An economist by training, Maria received her PhD in Public Policy from Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy. She also holds a MS in Economics of Innovation and Technology and BA in Economics from Università Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Brian Langloss, PhD (Health, Data Security)

Brian Langloss is a Lead Policy Analyst for SciPol.org. He oversees the development and publication of SciPol content related to the Health and Data Security topics. In addition to SciPol, Brian also serves on the Citizens Advisory Committee, a City Council Appointed body that provides oversight for Durham’s Federally funded low-income housing programs. A chemist by training, Brian received his PhD in Chemistry from Duke in 2018, where his research was focused on the practical application of nanomaterials to biological imaging and radiation detection. Prior to graduate school, Brian completed his BS in Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, and worked as an R&D chemist in industry.

Sarah Rispin Sedlak, JD (Energy)

Sarah Rispin Sedlak oversees the development and publication of SciPol.org 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.

SciPol.org Contributors by Topic

    Data Security

    Maria Carnovale, PhD
    Lead Policy Analyst, Data Security

    Max Povejsil, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Emerging Tech – Robotics / AI

    Spring 2020 Contributors

    Raymond Allen, PhD Candidate

    Jayun Bae, MA Candidate

    Jennifer G. DiStefano, PhD Candidate

    Evan Donahue, PhD Candidate

    Ryan B. Dudek, PhD Candidate

    Katelyn Flint, PhD Candidate

    Maya Ghanem, BS/BA Candidate

    Kat Hefter, BSE Candidate

    Nathan Iyer, MA Candidate

    Luis Sordo Vieira, PhD

    Ryan Tam, PhD Candidate

    Gwenaëlle Thomas, PhD Candidate

    Emerging Tech

    Supported by Duke University's Humans and Autonomy Laboratory (HAL), Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT), and the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF)

    Maria Carnovale, PhD
    Lead Policy Analyst, Emerging Tech

    Siyuan Feng, MS Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Emerging Tech – Nanotechnology

    Max Povejsil, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Emerging Tech – Robotics / AI

    Spring 2020 Contributors

    Raymond Allen, PhD Candidate

    Jayun Bae, MA Candidate

    Jennifer G. DiStefano, PhD Candidate

    Evan Donahue, PhD Candidate

    Ryan B. Dudek, PhD Candidate

    Katelyn Flint, PhD Candidate

    Maya Ghanem, BS/BA Candidate

    Kat Hefter, BSE Candidate

    Nathan Iyer, MA Candidate

    Luis Sordo Vieira, PhD

    Ryan Tam, PhD Candidate

    Energy

    Supported by the Duke University Energy Initiative

    Sarah Rispin Sedlak, JD
    Lead Editor, Energy

    Nathan Iyer, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Energy

    Spring 2020 Contributors

    Raymond Allen, PhD Candidate

    Jennifer G. DiStefano, PhD Candidate

    Ryan B. Dudek, PhD Candidate

    Maya Ghanem, BS/BA Candidate

    Lauren Hadley, BA Candidate

    Emily Perry, MEM Candidate

    Ryan Tam, PhD Candidate

    Health

    Brian Langloss, PhD
    Lead Policy Analyst, Health

    Jayun Bae, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Health – Neuroscience

    Megan Boyd, MA Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Health – Genomics

    Defne Z. Yorgancioglu, BS Candidate
    Assistant Editor, Health – Neuroscience

    Spring 2020 Contributors

    Raymond Allen, PhD Candidate

    Kat Hefter, BSE Candidate

    Emily Perry, MEM Candidate

    Meredith Schmehl, PhD Candidate

    Claire Simmons, MA Candidate

    Luis Sordo Vieira, PhD

    Karla Sosa, PhD Candidate

    Ryan Tam, PhD Candidate

    Gwenaëlle Thomas, PhD Candidate

    Rishita Yeduri, MA Candidate

    Policy for Science

    Andrew Pericak, MEM
    Lead Policy Analyst, Policy for Science

    Spring 2020 Contributors

    Lauren Hadley, BA Candidate

    Meredith Schmehl, PhD Candidate

    Claire Simmons, MA Candidate

    SciPol.org Production Assistants

    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:

    • Roberto Medrano (Trinity 2021)
    • Lexx Pino (Trinity 2021)