The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) brought together speakers with experience communicating the value of research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to elected officials for a webinar on July 26. Steve Newell, Senior Legislative and Federal Affairs Officer, American Psychological Association, urged scientists to “reinforce NSF as an issue that constituents care about ” with elected officials by meeting with them in district offices, hosting site visits, and writing op-eds for local papers. For lab tours, Christina West, Vice Chancellor for Federal Relations, Vanderbilt University, said scientists should work with their universities’ federal relations offices to ensure compliance with congressional ethics rules.
Showcasing diverse scientific fields to policymakers is also important, said Leah Pagnozzi, Graduate Research Associate, Cornell University, who added that there are other ways for scientists to directly engage with representatives such as attending town hall meetings, joining a science policy club, and getting active on social media. Erin Heath, Associate Director of Government Relations, American Association for the Advancement of Science and CNSF co- chair moderated the webinar. She stated that the coalition is advocating for $8.45 billion in funding for NSF in FY19. Visit https://bit.ly/2w9rlGh to watch the webinar.