Members of the MIT community—our students, staff, and faculty—are uniquely positioned to use their voice and expertise to make sure that the contributions fundamental science makes to society are understood and valued, that policy decisions are grounded in scientific fact, and that our government funds scientific research. Below are just a few resources to help our MIT community members and those interested individuals outside of our community advocate for science.
Science Advocacy at MIT
AFS is a student-run, non-partisan organization focused primarily on building an informed advocacy community online and organizing advocacy for federal research funding, offering an online tool for participating in twice-yearly email campaigns at key points in the Congressional budget process.
Charged with implementing MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change, the MIT Climate Action committee brings together MIT leadership, faculty, staff, postdocs, and students to develop solutions “to minimize emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other global warming agents into the atmosphere, and to devise pathways for adaptation to climate change, through the active involvement of the MIT community, proactively engaged with industry, government, academia, foundations, philanthropists and the public.” The Climate Action website also provides a helpful list of climate groups at MIT.
The MIT Science Policy Initiative is a student-run program that works closely with MIT faculty, the MIT Washington DC office, and other advocates to educate students on the challenges facing the science community at the local and national levels. The initiative organizes monthly discussion meetings around presentations and current events, four-day Science Boot Camps during IAP for grad students and postdocs, Executive and Congressional visit days, where students meet with agencies and Congressional representatives, and policy and advocacy workshops and panels at the annual AAAS conference.
National Science Advocacy Groups
The ACS’s Act4Chemistry is a legislative network that offers programs and tools for advocating for chemistry at state and federal levels. ACS also offers public policy fellowships and guidance for arranging visits to lawmakers.
The APS provides action alerts for physics-related issues, guidance for writing to Congress and organizing meetings with representatives, and a directory of Congressional social media.
The ASBMB Policy Blotter provides updates on the latest developments in national policy and legislation related to molecular life sciences and opportunities to participate in ASBMB-run advocacy campaigns. An advocacy toolkit is also available for ASBMB members.
The Science Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on supporting federal funding for science. It provides a toolkit with guidance on how to talk about why federal funding is important and guidance for contacting representatives, hosting local showcases of federally funded research, and engaging with the public and the media, as well as informational resources.
Founded in 1969 by MIT students, the UCS works advance to advance science-based solutions for a safer and healthier planet. The website offers specific guidance for engagement with media and policymakers, as well as specific calls to action.