We talked to professional advocates, lobbyists, and legislators to create these guidelines to make science advocacy more transparent and much easier.
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 social media.
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 above infographic depicts estimates (based on conversations with staffers) of how many constituent voices your contact counts for depending on your method of contact. The most impactful method of contact is to show up in person or call your representatives on the phone. Emails and petition signing are less effective. Do what you can though. All methods will be helpful to advocate for science.
When should I contact them?
Short answer: February/March and August/September during a one-week time frame when others are also contacting them.
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.