We talked to professional advocates, lobbyists, and legislators to create these guidelines to make science advocacy more transparent and much easier. You can be a great community member with 2 minutes of your time this year. Sign up to be an advocate and we will email you only twice a year when you can have maximal impact.
What should I do to advocate for science?
- Contacting your representatives twice a year about the federal science budget is a great minimal effort way to have a big impact on science.
- There are many more things you can additionally do if you have the time. We will keep you posted on the blog.
How should I contact them?
Your voice has a much bigger impact than just one person if you contact your legislators. This is because so few people actually do this. The below infographic depicts estimates (based on conversations with staffers) of how many constituent voices your contact counts for depending on your method of contact.
- Email: We have created a quick and easy email tool on our website. All you have to do is put in your address and fill out the email. Form emails will take you less than 1 minute to send. The email tool is pre-filled with professional, appropriate wording that we worked with the MIT Washington office to create. To personalize it for maximum impact, just write a few sentences (or however many you like) about why science is important to you or how the funding crisis has affected you.
- Phone: coming soon- phone call tool!
- Really, you say, you want me to call my legislators? We know, it almost seems rude to call people these days and it’s hard to know what to say. But, it turns out phone calls are a really big deal to legislators- if people are actually calling then it must be an important voting issue. We will help you. Phone calls get things done.
When should I contact them?
Short answer: February/March and August/September during a one-week time frame when others are also contacting them. We will let you know by email, on our blog, Facebook, and twitter. The next one will be September 2016.
Why? These are the times when legislators are first proposing the budget (February/March) and when they are making final decisions (August/September). They keep track of how many people contact them about a particular issue- so having emails all be at the same time is key. They also use your personal messages as talking points and your stories stick with them.