Lab visits also allow for the development of mutually beneficial personal relationships with lawmakers and their staffers. Wallert said he was impressed that Klobuchar “was kind enough to extend an open invitation to schedule time to meet with her in Washington, D.C.”
Meanwhile, ASBMB Public Affairs Advisory Committee member Janet Shaw, a professor at the University of Utah, has maintained a close relationship with the office of Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, meeting regularly with the congressman and his staffers both at her institution and in Washington during ASBMB’s annual Hill Day.
In addition to allowing time for talking about scientific issues and breakthroughs, the August recess offers constituents a chance to weigh in on the potential impact of proposed cuts to research.
In particular, the Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittee (which funds the National Institutes of Health) will consider its bill the first week of August, meaning that the legislation will be fresh on the minds of lawmakers when they are back in their home districts.
Be sure to contact the ASBMB public affairs staff for assistance if you are interested in engaging your member of Congress, whether it is by writing to him or her in support of scientific research, inviting him or her to tour your lab, or visiting his or her office in Washington. It's critical to have your voice heard!
Geoffrey Hunt (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the ASBMB science policy fellow.