In August, scientists and educators participated in the 4th Annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event. This nationwide initiative encouraged scientists to meet with their members of Congress in their local area rather than in Washington, DC, and allowed elected officials to learn first-hand about the science and research facilities in their district.

Scientists participating in the event discussed the importance of life sciences research with the individuals responsible for casting the votes that shape the nation’s science policy.

Notable meetings include:

  • Representative John Barrow (GA) toured the biology facility under construction at Georgia Southern University.
  • Representative Barbara Lee (CA) met with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley Natural History Museums.
  • Representative Jackie Speier (CA) met with a faculty member from San Francisco State University.
  • North Carolina State Senator Eleanor Kinnaird attended a research poster session organized by graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Florida State Representative Ben Albritton toured the Bok Tower Gardens.

The 2012 event drew the participation of individual scientists and educators, as well as museums, botanic gardens, and other research centers. In total, participants from 14 different states took part in the event.

In addition to the American Institutes of Biological Sciences, sponsors of the 2012 event were the Long-Term Ecological Research Network, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, and Natural Science Collections Alliance.

An interactive, online training program prepared participants for meetings, including helping them create and refine their messages. The AIBS Public Policy Office also provided participating scientists with a handbook on successful engagement with policymakers.

Organizations that are interested in sponsoring or participating in the 2013 event should contact Robert Gropp at 202-628-1500.


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