A challenge reissued

US map

How to participate

Do you want to meet with your member of Congress and his or her staff during the summer recess (Aug. 1–Sep. 5)? Register now for the ASBMB 50-State Challenge and help us meet our goal of having members conduct at least one meeting in all 50 states!

You did it! Two years ago, we challenged the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology membership to conduct 100 or more meetings with U.S. representatives and senators during the summer congressional recess. And last year, you had 105 meetings. Congratulations!
While we are still figuring out the logistics for your ticker-tape parade, we at the ASBMB have started thinking about our next step. One hundred meetings is an astonishing feat, but researchers are still confronted by myriad problems. Despite all of your advocacy efforts, the budgets for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and others are not growing fast enough to keep up with the demand for grant money. Jobs for newly minted Ph.D.s are scarce, and legislative issues concerning immigration reform, travel by federal scientists and changes to peer review remain unresolved. And recent events on Capitol Hill indicate that, despite bipartisan support, funding for scientific research is not a high priority for many members of Congress.
This is why we’ve decided to renew our challenge to the membership while at the same time setting our sights on a higher target. A thriving local research community provides jobs, encourages entrepreneurship and makes the occasional groundbreaking discovery. And this happens in every single state in the nation. That is why we are now challenging you, the members, to demonstrate this to the congressional representatives of every state. A 50-state challenge. Can the ASBMB membership conduct at least one meeting with federal representatives and senators in each and every state? We think you can, but it’s up to you to prove it.
This challenge is issued to all scientists, from undergrads to grad students, postdocs, technicians, staff scientists and faculty members. Your voice is important to your members of Congress, and they need to hear about the benefits your research brings to the states and districts you live in. You are the one working toward breakthroughs in critical issues related to human health. Your work brings federal dollars into the community and improves the economic well-being of surrounding areas. And your discoveries have the potential to make significant change. These are the stories that will motivate members of Congress to raise the profile of science.
Congress will go on recess for five weeks starting at the beginning of August. During this time, federal policy makers and their staffs will be in their states and districts meeting with concerned constituents. This is your window to set up a meeting with your representatives. As always, the ASBMB Public Affairs Office is here to help you as much or as little as you want. We can set up meetings for you and provide you with materials to help you make your points. We will even travel and escort you on your meetings if that is what you want. We are here to make sure that your voice can be heard. And we’re challenging the ASBMB membership to make your voice heard in every state in the nation.
A 50-state challenge. Think you’re up to it?

Photo of Chris PickettChris Pickett (cpickett@asbmb.org) is a policy analyst at the ASBMB.