Be an Advocate for Science
Science policy advocacy and outreach are important parts of being a scientist. Your research could make important contributions to the discovery of cures and treatments for debilitating diseases. But you need to be a science policy advocate and share with your elected officials and the public the progress you are making in your research. You have an interesting story to tell and you owe it to those who are funding your research.
Science advocacy takes as much time as you have to give.
- If you only have a few minutes, make a phone call, send a tweet, or post on Facebook
- If you have an extra hour, write a letter, author an Op-Ed, or attend a local meeting
- If you can devote a full day, give a tour of your lab, visit a local official’s office, or travel to Washington, DC
- If you can devote more time, start a local science advocacy group
ASCB can help you with any of these activities. We have a series of “Be an Advocate for Science” how-to papers you can use, webinars on how to be an advocate, and Kevin Wilson, ASCB’s Public Policy Director, is always willing to answer questions and provide advice.
“Be an Advocate for Science” how-to papers
Advocacy Toolbox Two Minute Speech Checklist: tips on crafting a good Two Minute Speech
View a Science Policy Webinar: Life Science Advocacy – 5 W’s and 1 H
Science Policy Advocacy from Home
Traditionally, science policy advocacy has meant going to Washington, DC to meet with elected officials. While that is still one part of advocacy, traveling to Washington is just one of many ways you can be an advocate for science. There are also many important advocacy activities you can engage in from home.
Student Policy and Advocacy Groups
Science policy advocacy should be part of the life of every scientist. Policy makers need to hear from scientists at all career stages.
Start a Student Policy and Advocacy Group
Creating a group of like-minded policy advocates is easier than it sounds. The ASCB has developed “How To” sheets to help you start a group and keep it going.
Focus on these five areas at the beginning:
- Fill out the paperwork
- Attract members
- Advertise that you exist
- Build important connections
- Hold your first meeting
Sustain a Student Policy and Advocacy Group
Maintaining an active science policy group beyond the first generation of leaders is harder than starting the group in the first place. Here are four ways to keep the group active and energized:
- Hold regular meetings
- Plan policy-related events
- Stay informed on science-related issues
- Maintain continuity of leadership
Learn more about sustaining a Student Policy and Advocacy Group
Examples of other advocacy activities you can be involved in:
For questions or help about science policy advocacy, contact Kevin Wilson, ASCB’s Director of Public Policy and Media Relations.