The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is partnering with The American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) to encourage participation in Advocacy Week, a weeklong effort to draw attention to the importance of basic research.
During Advocacy Week, October 1-5, 2012, we are challenging all GSA members to do something to highlight the work you’re doing to elected officials and the public.
There has never been a more urgent time to advocate for science. Federal funding for science is tightly constrained in the context of the overall budgetary situation. Beyond funding, though, we need to enhance respect for and increase public appreciation for the vital role that science must play in the 21st century.
Although GSA and our advocacy partners work to make the case for science funding, legislators need to hear from you, their constituents! And they need to see the contributions that science is making to the nation, to the economy, and to the important challenges you are addressing.
Like research, advocacy can take place locally, not just in the halls of power. But unlike research, advocacy takes only as much time as you have to give. Please help GSA and ASCB show our elected officials and our neighbors the importance of what goes on in our labs and our research institutions by joining with us on some or all of these Advocacy Week activities:
- Take a picture at your next lab meeting or journal club! Show that research is done by people, whether PI or postdoc, student or technician. Include a printout of the “WE ARE RESEARCH” poster. Post your picture on GSA’s Facebook page or send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Make a two-minute video explaining your research to a non-scientist. Pretend like you’re explaining it to your grandmother—or actually sit down with your grandma and explain it to her! Post the video to GSA’s Facebook page or upload it to YouTube and send the link to us at email@example.com.
- Recruit your friends and colleagues to join GSA’s grassroots advocacy lists. Joining the FASEB Stand Up for Science! and the CLS Congressional Liaison Committee networks will keep you informed about policy developments and the easy ways that you can help.
- Invite others to visit your lab. Show your Senator and Congressional representative—and their staff—what you do and explain the importance of your research (Canadians, join us too!). Also reach out to your state representative or city council member. Invite your local TV station or news reporter. Connect with local patient groups who have an interest in the outcome of your research.
- Take your science to your street. Science is local, and there’s no better way to show your neighbors that research is an essential part of their community and local economy than by giving a talk to a local civic group, whether the Rotary Club, your neighborhood church, or the local garden club or high school.
October is an especially great time, not only because of the upcoming elections, but because the Nobel Prizes are announced in October, meaning that it’s one of the only times of the year that science is front page news.
Thank you for your help in raising the profile of science and emphasizing the importance of research.
Adam P. Fagen, PhD
P.S. In addition to engaging your own lab, please encourage your colleagues from other labs to join in as well.
By sending your photo or video to GSA or posting it on a GSA-affiliated site, you agree that you have permission from those in the picture to use their image, and you provide GSA and ASCB with permission to use the photo and/or video for our efforts to advocate on behalf of the scientific community.