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Engaging Policymakers: Opportunities for Biological Science Organizations

The 2017 Meeting of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations

December 4, 2017
AIBS Washington, DC Office
1201 New York Avenue, NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

graphic The scientific community has long endeavored to improve communications with policymakers with a goal of informing sound public policy decisions. In many areas and on a number of issues, professional societies and individual scientists have successfully provided decision-makers in Congress and agencies with timely and usable information that has informed decisions on issues ranging from health, agricultural, or environmental policy to basic science and science education policy. There is a growing concern, however, that science is being ignored or marginalized in many policy decisions.

Quality scientific information is required to inform solutions to the significant problems facing society. Public support is required, however, to conduct the research that will ultimately generate useful information. Ensuring that the knowledge gained from this research is used, the scientific community must appropriately and effectively share its knowledge.

To make progress toward these goals, the biological sciences community, particularly our professional societies and organizations, must consider our needs, messages, and how we communicate these to the people charged with crafting policy.

The 2017 meeting of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations will bring leaders of the biological sciences community together to explore these issues.

The meeting will identify 1) shared priorities; 2) existing initiatives and resources; and 3) opportunities for biological sciences organizations to work collaboratively to inform decision-makers.

A summary report was released in June 2018. Download the report.

Link to the BioScience article.

Event Partners
Burke and Associates Burroughs Wellcome Fund Doris Duke Charitable FoundationOUP

Event Sponsors

2017 Meeting of the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations

Monday, December 4, 2017
8:30 Registration and Coffee
9:00 Opening Presentations
  • Presentation
    Dr. Joseph Travis, President, AIBS
  • Science, Society, Politics and Other Things
    Dr. Robert Gropp, Executive Director, AIBS
10:00Panel Discussion: Community Concerns, Needs
  • Dr. Andrea Case, Executive Vice President, Society for the Study of Evolution and Associate Professor, Kent State University
  • Julia McDonnell, Senior Publisher, Oxford University Press
  • Michael Halpern, Deputy Director, Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists
11:00Practitioner's Panel: Barriers to Engagement, Opportunities, Needs
Perspectives from science policy and communication experts
  • Benjamin Corb, Director of Public Affairs, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Tyrone Spady, Director of Legislative and Public Affairs, American Society of Plant Biologists
12:00Lunch -- provided
1:00Synthesis of Pre-lunch Discussions: Opportunities and Issues
1:10 Presentation: Current Efforts & What Works
  • Julie Palakovich Carr, Public Policy Manager, AIBS
1:40 Group Discussion: Addressing Interests and Priorities
  • Moderator: Kathie Olsen, AIBS Board
2:30 Break
2:45 Group Discussion: Opportunities for Collective Action
  • Moderator: Mary Klein, AIBS Board
3:45 Recommendations for AIBS and the Community
  • Moderator: Robert Gropp, AIBS
4:15 Adjourn
4:16 Reception
5:30 End

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