AIBS - Science Policy: How to Inform, Influence, and Communicate with Policymakers

AIBS Evening Plenary Session by Jenna Jadin, AIBS Public Policy Office

Monday September 14 1930

In his Inaugural address, President Obama vowed to “restore science to its rightful place”, and make scientific data an integral part of the policy decisions of his administration. This means that now, more than ever, the input of scientists is needed to in order to inform public policy. In particular, as climate change, biofuels, and biodiversity are increasingly on the legislative agenda, the scientifically-based opinions of ecologists and environmental biologists is more relevant than ever. However, while lawmakers frequently call for scientific input, they often don’t know where to find the relevant members of the scientific community.

The purpose of this workshop, led by the American Instutute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Public Policy Office, is to familiarize participants with the legislative process, provide an update of current science policy issues on Capitol Hill and around the nation, discuss opportunities for scientists to be involved in policy decisions, and explore effective communication practices for communicating with policymakers and lawmakers. The workshop will be a combination of presentations, discussions, and interactive workshops focusing on messaging and communication techniques.

If biologists are to play a role in shaping science policy, securing increased funding for scientific research, promoting science education, or just generally helping policymakers understand scientific issues, it is important that we all become active citizens. One way to do this is to build a relationship with policymakers and to regularly communicate with them. The goal of this AIBS workshop is to give you some of the communication tools and techniques that you will need to build and maintain these relationships.

There will be a follow-on AIBS Working Group Session scheduled for Working Group Session 3 on Tuesday Morning.