Today, we are proud to announce that the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an official partner with the March for Science.
On April 22, in cities and towns all across America, scientists – and science enthusiasts – will participate in marches raising awareness for the important role that science and scientists play in improving the quality of life and well-being of Americans.
In her piece for ASBMB Today this month, ASBMB President Natalie Ahn had this to say: “(The society) wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the March for Science. Scientists at all career stages work every day to maintain the flow of new knowledge through evidence-based research and logic. We train young scientists in critical thinking skills and the scientific method. While interpretations of experimental observations can and do vary, we hold ourselves to high standards for rigorousness and impartiality, and we strive to reach unbiased conclusions as much as humanly possible.”
For us at ASBMB, the march represents an exciting opportunity for scientists to stand together. Also, it provides us with an opportunity to bring to light programs we offer for those interested in being advocates for science to policymakers or an ambassador of science to the general public.
We also hope that – if you’re participating in a march next week – your participation isn’t the end of your involvement in standing up and speaking out. The march is a wonderful organic moment, but we at ASBMB look forward to ensuring it’s the beginning of a movement as well.
The ASBMB has been at the forefront of efforts within the scientific community to develop opportunities for scientists to engage with the public. Our web-based training course, “The Art of Science Communication,” provides interactive instruction on how to communicate science to a nonexpert audience. This six-week course covers the central tenets of effective communication, such as messaging, storytelling and knowing your audience. The course runs three times a year, with the next version starting in June. We also offer in-person workshops that complement the online course by providing more in-depth communication skill training. These workshops are focused on specific topics, such as how to deliver a 30-second “elevator pitch.”
The ASBMB also runs several activities and programs that provide direct opportunities for scientists to engage with the public. These include outreach events at our annual meeting and seed-grant programs that support local outreach efforts done by our members in their communities.
If your involvement with the march has you more interested in science policy and advocacy, then the ASBMB’s public affairs efforts may be of most interest to you. Every year, the ASBMB holds a Hill Day, a day on which we bring scientists from across the country to Washington, D.C. Once in Washington, and after an evening of training, members go to Capitol Hill to meet with their senators and representatives to talk about the need for federal support for science.
We also encourage and provide materials for ASBMB members interested in visiting their lawmakers locally, particularly during the August congressional recess.
And, new this year, the ASBMB is looking to build an advocacy network so that members from across the country can take leadership roles in organizing local advocacy opportunities.
We hope to see you at the march next weekend (take pictures, tweet and use #ASBMBStandsUp), and we hope that your participation in this event is just the first step on a longer journey!