Scientific research is conducted in all 50 states yet a majority of Americans cannot name a place where research is conducted, according to survey findings shared by Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley that surprised young researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). During a presentation at NIH on May 3, Woolley shared tips on how to be an advocate for research and spread the word about the value of science.
“We know the public wants scientists to engage,” Woolley said. “Start by telling your family and friends about NIH research and where it’s conducted nationwide.”
The next step, she said, is to reach out to local, state and even federal policymakers.
“We are told by members of Congress that no scientists in their district have ever approached them,” Woolley said. “Elected officials and scientists both serve the public so start a conversation based on that. Thank them for their service and be non-hostile.”
Woolley also reminded attendees that advocacy is about more than being vigilant; it’s about being proactive.
“The point is to get over that invisibility and put your face on research.”