Sturges spent the past 17 years bringing some of the nation's
most qualified scientists together with some of the country's most
influential leaders in government. "It's been a wonderful
way to make a living," says Sturges, a native of Oakland, who lives
in Washington, D.C. "I love the sense of contributing to the public
Sturges, an SF State English major in the early '60s, is retiring
this year as director of the Public Policy Fellowship Programs for the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, to try something
completely new. She'll be volunteering full time for the John Kerry
presidential campaign. "This has been a nonpartisan position,"
explains Sturges in a telephone interview from D.C. "But in my heart
of hearts, I'm a Democrat."
As director of the fellowship program, Sturges has been responsible each
year for guiding 130 scientists -- physicists, engineers, biologists,
nuclear scientists, and environmental scientists -- through the offices
of Congress, the White House, and a dozen executive branch agencies. The
fellows, who receive a $60,000 stipend, work for one year in D.C. in areas
such as diplomacy, global security and defense. "Our job is to advance
science, but not lobby for it," Sturges explains. "Fellows
learn the policy process and help inform politicians on such issues as
HIV and AIDS, nuclear science, terrorism. Science doesn't always
win, but being informed is a very good start."