2018 Hill Day recap
On April 12, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology hosted its annual Hill Day. In attendance were undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty members, department chairs and university administrators, all eager to meet with their elected officials and advocate for the importance of positive policies and legislation for the scientific enterprise.
Tomorrow is #ASBMBHillDay! Participants will discuss the need for increased and sustainable funding for the scientific enterprise with elected officials and their staffs: https://t.co/PD1eH0Szn5. Follow along right here on Twitter! pic.twitter.com/lFIOZQGj2N
— ASBMB (@ASBMB) April 11, 2018
Hill Day began the night before with Ben Corb, director of public affairs, providing a crash course in advocacy and the legislative process as it relates to scientific research.
— Terri Kinzy (@kinzytg) April 11, 2018
The following morning, attendees descended on Capitol Hill ready to begin a long day of meetings with staffers and members of Congress.
— Kimberly M. Jackson (@kmjacks) April 12, 2018
— SLF (@pombe_doc) April 12, 2018
— Spencer Shelton (@Spencer2268) April 12, 2018
This year, the ASBMB brought 35 Hill Day attendees to Washington, D.C. (15 ASBMB PAAC members and 20 undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs). The participants represented 27 states and attended 85 meetings.
— Andrew garfoot (@Dr_Garfoot) April 12, 2018
— Tricia Serio (@TriciaSerio) April 12, 2018
— Emily Myers (@OrbiTrapped) April 12, 2018
Some attendees were able to take advantage of the underground tram system to usher themselves from one side of the Hill to the other. Others took the opportunity to smell the recently bloomed cherry blossoms and enjoy the spring weather.
— Rick Page (@ThePageLab) April 12, 2018
— Leah Cairns (@lscairns18) April 12, 2018
— Andrea Hadjikyriacou (@phd_fashionista) April 12, 2018
The work for ASBMB’s Public Affairs Advisory Committee members, however, did not end with Hill Day. The next morning, members of the PAAC traveled to six institutes at the NIH and three directorates at the NSF to meet with senior leadership and discuss policies and programs that directly affect the ASBMB’s membership and the future of the scientific enterprise.
— SLF (@pombe_doc) April 13, 2018
We thank the trainees and researchers who continue to help make the case for investments in basic research. Attendees reported full support from both sides of the aisle regarding the future of the U.S. scientific enterprise. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bipartisan budget deal that increased funding at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science in FY18. As we look forward, we hope that based on the conversations had with representatives and their staff during Hill Day, members of Congress will continue their support in an FY19 budget.
Interested in catching up on tweets from this year’s Hill Day? Click here.
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The society states that increasing student debt and financial strain are hurting the U.S. research enterprise and federal agencies must do more to ease this burden.
These funding mechanisms have been underutilized. The ASBMB public affairs staff offers recommendations to change that.