Standing up for science

Published May 01 2017

Last month, scientists from across this country and around the world marched in support of science. For many, it was their first time to advocate and make the case for the critical role that science plays in everyone’s lives. It was exciting to see such an impressive turnout.

Those of us involved in advocacy work at professional scientific societies, like me and the members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Public Affairs Advisory Committee, want to encourage you to let last month’s actions be a first step on your journey to being a proud voice for science. There are many opportunities at the ASBMB for your continued involvement, and we’d like to share some of them with you.

First, to keep abreast of policy events, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog. Several times a week, the ASBMB staff updates the blog with analyses of the science-policy issues being discussed in Washington. We also host the occasional piece explaining not only what is happening but why we think it’s happening. Every Friday, we publish our weekly roundup, which lists news from the week as covered by media. It’s a great way to stay informed!

Second, the ASBMB advocacy website, has an online toolkit that offers the resources you need to take your advocacy efforts to the next level. Our toolkit has tips on how to invite your elected officials to tour your lab, sample letters or phone scripts that provide you with talking points, and suggestions on how to write an op-ed for your local paper. Also, our help doesn’t stop there. The public affairs staff in Maryland is ready and willing to help you use these resources, so just reach out to me and ask!

A third way to get involved is to watch this space and our blog for advocacy opportunities organized by the ASBMB. Every spring, we bring researchers to Capitol Hill to advocate for biomedical research funding. Every summer, while the U.S. Congress is in recess, we organize ASBMB members to meet with their elected officials in their home districts. We provide meeting materials and even offer to schedule the meetings for you. These events happen annually, and we always are looking for participants!

Standing up to be a voice for science is an exciting and rewarding experience. But we understand that, at first glance, taking the stand can appear daunting. We’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out and let me and my colleagues know how we best can serve you and help you continue standing up for science!

Benjamin Corb Benjamin Corb is director of public affairs at ASBMB. Follow him on Twitter.