On April 12, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology hosted its annual Hill Day.  In attendance were undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty members, department chairs and university administrators, all eager to meet with their elected officials and advocate for the importance of positive policies and legislation for the scientific enterprise.

Hill Day began the night before with Ben Corb, director of public affairs, providing a crash course in advocacy and the legislative process as it relates to scientific research.

The following morning, attendees descended on Capitol Hill ready to begin a long day of meetings with staffers and members of Congress.

This year, the ASBMB brought 35 Hill Day attendees to Washington, D.C. (15 ASBMB PAAC members and 20 undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs). The participants represented 27 states and attended 85 meetings.

Some attendees were able to take advantage of the underground tram system to usher themselves from one side of the Hill to the other.  Others took the opportunity to smell the recently bloomed cherry blossoms and enjoy the spring weather.  

The work for ASBMB’s Public Affairs Advisory Committee members, however, did not end with Hill Day.  The next morning, members of the PAAC traveled to six institutes at the NIH and three directorates at the NSF to meet with senior leadership and discuss policies and programs that directly affect the ASBMB’s membership and the future of the scientific enterprise.

We thank the trainees and researchers who continue to help make the case for investments in basic research. Attendees reported full support from both sides of the aisle regarding the future of the U.S. scientific enterprise. Earlier this year, Congress passed a bipartisan budget deal that increased funding at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy’s Office of Science in FY18. As we look forward, we hope that based on the conversations had with representatives and their staff during Hill Day, members of Congress will continue their support in an FY19 budget.

Interested in catching up on tweets from this year’s Hill Day? Click here.

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