AAAS Fellows in front of the U.S. Capitol building

NSF AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows


Photo of Josh Reding, a man with a beard and glasses.
Credit: National Science Foundation


Dr. Joshua Reding
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Division of Astronomical Sciences
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Class of 2023-2024

Dr. Joshua Reding is an astronomer, philosopher, and educator, and hopes to keep the world curious, considerate, and optimistic of its role in the great cosmic narrative. His research investigated unusual white dwarf stars that likely formed in stellar mergers as “failed” supernovae, and he also designed astronomical instrument components.

Reding extensively engaged in science outreach and education as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including as a member of the SciREN Triangle team and as organizer and host of the local event series Astronomy on Tap in the Triangle. Hoping to use his science communication skills to address prescient problems, Reding entered the science policy realm by participating in the American Astronomical Society’s Congressional Visit Days program, where he explained the growing negative impacts of satellite pollution to his legislators using data from an innovative telescope designed and built at UNC Chapel Hill, and called for action. Reding saw how clever ideas of any size can affect major global issues, and, following the completion of his Ph.D., won a North Carolina STEM Policy Fellowship in the NC Department of Commerce’s Office of Science, Technology & Innovation, which supports entrepreneurial North Carolinians in crafting solutions to improve the lives of everyone living in the Tar Heel State. Reding now is delighted to bring his science policy experience back to his field of research, and hopes to make a lasting positive impact on the future of observational astronomy.

Reding completed his B.A. with a double major in Astronomy-Physics and Philosophy at Colgate University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from UNC Chapel Hill. He lives in Alexandria with his wife, Olivia, and two cats, Ghillie and Hobbes.