We want you to be part
of #ASBMBHillDay

Published April 01 2018

Members of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee and 20 student scientists from across the country will descend on Washington this month for the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Capitol Hill Day. Hill Day is one of our most exciting events. We will take thousands of steps in the marble hallways of Capitol Hill, attending more than 100 meetings with elected officials and their staffs all in one fast-paced day. Participants will discuss the need for increased and sustainable funding for the scientific enterprise and for Congress to put forth a legislative agenda to ensure a fertile environment for American science.

This year, we are working hard to provide advocacy outlets for the Hill Day applicants we can’t bring to Washington, D.C., and we want to offer you the same opportunities. The ASBMB public affairs office and the committee invite you to participate in a cyber Hill Day. We want you to send messages to your elected officials through telephone calls, emails and social media tools. Together, we will amplify the message we are delivering in person on the Hill.

How is this going to work?

The in-person Hill Day happens April 12. While your colleagues are sprinting from one meeting with lawmakers to the next, you can sit comfortably in your lab, home or office and deliver the same messages. The public affairs staff is developing a materials, everything from telephone scripts to tweetable internet memes for you. Your involvement is key. We need you to spread the importance of science research by re-sharing Hill Day posts and adding your thoughts.

Beyond your own social network, ASBMB staff will provide you with relevant information (phone numbers, email addresses, and Twitter and Instagram handles like #ASBMBHillDay) to ensure that your elected officials hear and see a steady stream of messages throughout the day. Our staff will monitor social media, looking to reinforce your messages through sharing and retweeting. We’ll also create a Storify, capturing the day’s activities in one place so we can look back and see all the messages we’ve delivered and the impact we’ve had.

The young scientists joining us in person for Hill Day come from across the country and were chosen for a variety of reasons. Some live in states or congressional districts represented by politicians who hold key committee assignments and influence funding of such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation. Others were chosen because they wrote provocative essays expressing their passion and commitment to science advocacy. Some participants come from parts of the country that do not receive much research funding, where federal research dollars have high economic impact and where the research is just as important as in well-funded areas. About 300 scientists applied for the 20 spots for this year’s Hill Day, which means we had to make very difficult decisions and turn away hundreds of great scientist-advocates. But, thanks to our social media campaign, even the folks we won’t be able to bring to Washington will still have their voices heard!

While we cannot bring everyone to Capitol Hill, we invite you, your colleagues, your friends and family to join us in this effort. The more people get involved and the more messages we deliver, the greater impact our advocacy efforts will have.

If you want to participate or want more details, click here.

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