For the second year in a row, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology hosted last month an advocacy town hall during the ASBMB Annual Meeting in San Diego. The town hall featured ASBMB Public Affairs Director Benjamin Corb and ASBMB Public Affairs Advisory Committee members Matthew Gentry of the University of Kentucky and Dorothy Shippen of Texas A&M University.
The presenters described the ASBMB’s public affairs and advocacy programs to keep members informed of policies affecting the science community, such as the science policy blog and the science policy podcast “Pipettes and Politics.” They also discussed the recent ASBMB Hill Day and agency visits. Corb highlighted various ways that ASBMB members can get involved in advocacy, including applying to the new Advocacy Training Program and participating in the society’s grassroots advocacy campaigns.
For the remainder of the town hall, audience members asked a variety of questions regarding science policy and advocacy. Participants inquired about the federal budget and specific policies such as the Next Generation of Researchers Initiative from the National Institutes of Health. Others emphasized the challenges in the science community, particularly immigration and sexual misconduct, and encouraged the ASBMB to tackle these issues.
After the advocacy town hall, participants sent “thank-you” letters to lawmakers, giving them credit for raising the budgets of the NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy Office of Science. Forty six scientists wrote 136 letters to 79 legislators.
If you were unable to participate in this year’s advocacy town hall, join us in Orlando next year. Submit questions that cannot wait until next year on the ASBMB’s Grassroots Advocacy Network forum (grassroots.asbmb.org) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get involved in our advocacy efforts.