Biological scientists from across the country were in Washington, DC, on April 24-26, 2023, to participate in the AIBS Communications Boot Camp for Scientists and Congressional Visits Day. After being held virtually in 2021 and 2022, this annual event returned to an in-person format in 2023.
Following a two-day communications and advocacy training program, scientists headed to Capitol Hill where they spent April 26 meeting with their members of Congress. The meetings provided participants with an opportunity to put into practice what they had learned in the training program, while also advocating for increased federal funding for scientific research.
The meetings with members of Congress were an opportunity for scientists to help lawmakers understand the importance of sustained federal investments in scientific research, particularly how federal investments support cutting-edge research in their districts and states. Participants talked with their elected officials about the need for Congress to appropriate at least $11.9 billion to the National Science Foundation in FY 2024, and some also discussed the importance of new investments in the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Energy Office of Science. Overall, 38 meetings took place between scientists and congressional offices.
Scientists from 14 states, namely Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, Maryland, Georgia, Florida, Utah, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Texas, and New Mexico, participated in the event. AIBS member societies, including American Society of Mammalogists, American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Botanical Society of America, Organization of Biological Field Stations, Society for the Study of Evolution, and University of Florida, sponsored the participation of a number of scientists. Recipients of the AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award also attended.
This event is made possible in part by generous contributions from AIBS members who support our policy initiatives. Contact our Public Policy Office today to find out how to support science policy.