During a presentation at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes on January 30, Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley explained why scientists should step up their role as advocates. As elected officials unveil new policies with implications for science and scientists, scientists must help ensure that the public, media and policymakers understand how science contributes to economic growth and prosperity, national security and better health.
Woolley discussed the current state of federal science and health research agency budgets, shared relevant public opinion survey data and provided insights on how to effectively communicate with non-scientists. A majority of Americans (67%) agree that public policies should be based on the best available science, according to a new survey commissioned by Research!America. At a time when Congress and the public may be taking scientific progress for granted, and given heightened public and policymaker demand for less government spending as well as more transparency and accountability, scientists must be more engaged in public outreach, said Woolley.