Volunteer Experience


Anirban Kundu

Canadian Science Policy Centre


Disclaimer: The French version of this editorial has been auto-translated and has not been approved by the author.

It is a true pleasure to be a volunteer at CSPC!

My interest to be a volunteer at CSPC started effectively last year during an informal coffee chat with Dr. Pooja Mishra, the previous Editorial Co-Chair. I had always found science policy interesting–the field provides interdisciplinary experience at the nexus of scientific developments, innovation, policy implications, stakeholder cross-collaboration, and global challenges. My conversation with Dr. Mishra left me with a strong interest to volunteer at CSPC, learn from science policy experts & peers, and develop myself professionally. As I look back at my volunteering journey, I cherish the knowledge I have gained, and perspectives shared with my fellow volunteers and CSPC leadership. At CSPC, we discuss a wide range of relevant issues–from climate change to digital innovation & AI–exploring a systems-based understanding of implications and drivers for effective policies. As a volunteer with the Editorial Committee, I treasure the opportunity to review and explore perspectives from peers & experts in related fields, who submit their articles for publication. I am also grateful to brainstorming subjects for activities and near-term committee projects with fellow volunteers. I also treasure the opportunity to contribute my own thoughts on relevant issues through editorial pieces (Arctic science policy, Generative AI in public policy administration). Being in both volunteer and author capacities presents well-rounded professional development in thinking, strategizing, and applying professional skills to effectively contribute to science policy in maturing and important topics that have strong relevance for Canada, and globally.

I would like to end with three key learnings I have gained during my time as a volunteer: 1) Continuous learning is key: my interactions with senior volunteers and CSPC leadership demonstrates the need to keep oneself updated with scientific developments, associated policy implications, and emerging topics of relevance to Canada and the world, 2) Future-focused and interdisciplinary thinking is critical to develop unique perspectives which drive the creation of science policies and/or identify topics which have increasing importance in the near future. Moreover, interdisciplinary thinking enables a more systemic analysis of social, economic, governance, environmental implications on science policy topics, 3) Collaborative thinking is critical to drive science policy discussions as it encourages and uplifts diverse stakeholder inputs that is core to the interdisciplinary thinking explored in the second point.

I am grateful to be part of the CSPC family. I treasure this opportunity to learn and grow with a diverse cohort of like-minded professionals willing to support future science policy enthusiasts and look to leverage this experience alongside my academic & professional learnings to drive sound contributions at the interface of sustainable development & climate strategy.