Over the summer, the Office of Public Affairs revamped the ASBMB advocacy website to make it even more accessible and helpful to our members who are looking to break into the world of science advocacy. Here’s a breakdown of some of the items you’ll find:
Home page: Science policy issues arise almost daily. The Latest News section gives quick synopses of recent news items and links to more detailed stories reported by other news organizations that are followed by people interested in science policy. Occasionally, the Breaking News link is activated. This section broadcasts high-profile stories that are unfolding in real time and may need immediate action from the research community. The From the Policy Blog section lists the most recent posts from the ASBMB Policy Blotter, the official blog of ASBMB, where we report on the latest policy issues that affect our members. The home page also includes a listing of detailed policy articles written for ASBMB Today.
Those who are interested in becoming more deeply involved in science policy can click on the Getting Involved button to sign up for the Local Advocates Network. By joining the LAN, you receive the ASBMB Advocate, a monthly science policy e-newsletter from the Office of Public Affairs, and updates on science policy issues that are happening in your area. You also can subscribe to the ASBMB Policy Blotter RSS feed to be updated on issues like the congressional appropriations process; National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation organization; and science, technology, engineering and math education and training issues. Finally, use the Update on Appropriations icon to track the status of funding bills in the congressional appropriations process.
About the PAAC: Find out about the members of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee and explore the various ways in which the committee works to represent you.
Advocacy toolkit: This resource has instructions for identifying and contacting your member(s) of Congress and provides sample scripts you can use to voice your opinion by email or phone. If you are interested in meeting directly with your representative, the toolkit explains how to orchestrate face-to-face interactions in your home district (Hosting a Meeting) or in Washington, D.C. (Congressional Visits Guide). When preparing for a meeting, be sure to use documents from the Congressional Meeting Materials link and watch the “Meeting with your Congressman” video to see how a meeting should and should not be conducted. Moreover, you can find congressional biographies that provide information on members’ backgrounds and voting records on science-related issues.
Position statements and correspondence: Read ASBMB’s formal position statements on issues such as human embryonic stem cell research and maintenance of proper NIH grant portfolio balance as well as press releases detailing the official ASBMB response to news items that affect researchers. ASBMB is also part of multiple science coalitions and organizations that release statements and letters in response to legislative or administrative issues.
Events: The major advocacy event hosted by ASBMB is our biannual Hill Day, when members are brought to Washington to meet with lawmakers and to advocate for basic research. Learn what Hill Day is all about by browsing photos and participant interviews from past years. Upcoming events include the PAAC-hosted science policy seminar at the annual Experimental Biology meeting.
Related sites: Check out this extensive list of websites that cover the science policy spectrum, from legislative and government agencies to fellow scientific societies, coalition partners and organizations.
Julie McClure (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a science policy fellow at ASBMB.