July 18, 2022
In this week's Missouri Policy Spotlight, Dr. Alan Moss gives a brief overview of the state of special education in Missouri. Read our blog post for research highlights from our related Science Notes. 
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Our Science Notes are getting an upgrade!

We've made some changes to our Science Notes to make it easier for everyone to find the information they're looking for! All prior Science Notes will remain accessible on our website, but you can expect to see all of our new Notes published in this updated format.

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MOST Policy Fellows serve as informal science advisors to the Missouri General Assembly.  All legislative Science Notes are written based on requests from state lawmakers. 
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Missouri's 988 crisis hotline rollout

Beginning Saturday, Missourians can dial or text 988 or chat virtually if they are in crisis. The national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a 24/7 system designed to better respond to people in crisis and get them the appropriate help as soon as possible. The hope is that the approach will also take some pressure off law enforcement and hospitals in some instances. The system includes someone to talk, a team on the ground to respond, and behavioral health crisis centers across the state for people to go to for help.

Science Note: Suicide Education & Prevention Programs 

Missouri governor won’t call special session on ectopic pregnancies, birth control

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that he will not call a special session to pass legislation to protect access to contraceptives and the ability of doctors to treat ectopic pregnancies. Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, and House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, called on the governor earlier this week to hold a special session to clarify that doctors can still help patients whose pregnancies are not viable.

Science Note: Contraceptive Accessibility 

As aging farmers retire, lawmakers explore how to boost beginning producers

More than half of American farmers will reach retirement age in the next 10 years, but the steep price of entry to start a farm, along with rising input costs and volatile markets, make it tough for young and beginning farmers to take their places. “Farming is inherently a risky business, but in the environment, we are in right now, that risk is elevated,” Nathan Kauffman testified at a House Committee Hearing on Thursday. 

Science Note: Rural Workforce Development 

New research bolsters broadband access in rural areas

Access to high-speed broadband is severely limited in many rural areas — but new research troubleshoots the issue. Javier Valentín-Sívico recently defended his dissertation — “Evaluating Barriers to, and Impacts of, Rural Broadband Access” — on his way to receiving the first doctorate granted by Missouri University of Science and Technology’s new Kummer College of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. .

Science NotesBroadband Collection

Applications for our Executive Policy Fellowship continue to be accepted on a rolling basis. MOST Executive Policy Fellows assist state agencies with incorporating data management, analysis, visualization, and integration practices to improve program design and implementation according to agency priorities. Executive Policy Fellows also have opportunities to build policy-relevant skills by participating in professional development activities hosted by MOST and by contributing additional capacity to team projects as appropriate.

We are currently seeking candidates that have (or will have) a terminal degree (M.S./M.A. or above) in data science, computer science, systems engineering, or a related field (e.g., operations management), or have completed a terminal degree in another discipline that required extensive data analysis. Do you know someone who would be a good fit? Additional application materials can be found at
Calling scientists and engineers interested in policy writing experience! 

We are seeking members of a Community Science Note Editorial Board who can assist in writing and reviewing science notes for a variety of settings, including general information, responses to public comment opportunities, and in advance of public hearings. We request that writers and editors have scientific training such as advanced degrees and/or extensive research experience. 

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