According to a Pew Research Center Poll, 76% percent of Americans think that scientists act in the best interest of the public, and 67% think science has had a mostly positive effect on society. In addition, despite recent headlines, the study shows that confidence in the scientific community has remained steady for the past 40 years.
At the same time, 70% of Americans can’t name a living scientist based on a 2013 poll conducted by Research!America.
In Congress, there is currently only one PhD level scientist, Bill Foster, a physicist representing Illinois i the House. There is one mathematician, Jerry McNerney from California, a handful of medical doctors, and a few political scientists.
Congress has several science-related policy issues on its plate including funding for science agencies, regulations and policies related to climate change, and support for renewable energy programs to name a few.
So what does this mean for you,, a practicing scientist? It means that Congress needs to hear from you!
In particular, the Senators from your state and the Representative from your district need to hear from you. They need to know that you, a constituent, cares about these issues, that you, your students, and your colleagues are affected by the policy choices they make in Washington, and that these choices can also affect the local economy.
They need to know that someone is watching and that someone cares.
The Biophysical Society wants to make it easy for you to connect with your elected officials. This August, society staff will walk you through the process of setting up a meeting and preparing for that meeting.
All you have to do is sign up for the BPS Congressional District Visits program by July 26 and a BPS staff member will be in touch. You won’t have to travel far, and you can make a big difference.
Get out of the lab and be an advocate for biophysics!