Date: October 17, 2011
Scientists must become more active in educating, informing and influencing policy makers. At the 2011 ASBMR Annual Meeting session: “The Importance of Advocating for Funding and Strategies To Succeed”, Former U.S. Representative John Porter gave a stirring talk on how it is every scientists’ responsibility to promote the importance of science to their elected representatives and within their communities, and highlighted ten ways scientists can accomplish this.
1. Write letters/emails to your Senators and Representatives.
2. Visit them in their Washington DC offices.
3. Invite them to your research facility to see the research being done.
4.Attend town hall meetings and voice your opinions; or call a campaign official of a political candidate (state or national) and tell them you’d like to help advise the candidate on science matters and issues.
5. Write letters to the editor and op-ed pieces.
6.Educate the public and policy makers. Reach out to clubs and organizations in your community (i.e., Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) and educate them on what you do and why it’s important.
7. Go to a local grade school or middle school. Talk to a few classes about science and medicine. Inspire them to pursue careers in science and medicine.
8. Create a science blog or participate in one.
9. Take a science reporter to lunch and tell him or her about your work.
10.Change the culture of your institution by emphasizing that advocating for science is everyone’s duty.
There are specific issues that you can take immediate action on. Ask your Senators to support The Bone Health Promotion and Research Act (S.966). Advocate your elected officials on the importance of NIH funding. The ASBMR staff can support you with your visits, handouts and presentations. Reach out to them for assistance, as well as visit the ASBMR and U.S. Bone Coalition web sites for resource materials that you can use in your advocacy efforts.