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Robert Gropp, Ph.D. Director of Public Policy Richard O’Grady, Ph.D. Executive Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Robert Gropp, Ph.D. Director of Public Policy Richard O’Grady, Ph.D. Executive Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Robert Gropp, Ph.D. Director of Public Policy Richard O’Grady, Ph.D. Executive Director

2 About AIBS Scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society. Founded in 1947 as a part of the National Academy of Sciences -- became an independent, member-governed organization in the 1950s. Headquartered in Washington, DC. Website:

3 Membership 5000 individual members 200 scientific societies, organizations and research centers (roughly 100 natural science collections) Combined membership of approximately 250,000 individuals 16 member organizations target funds for public policy

4 AIBS Program Areas Public Affairs - Public policy, government and media relations Education and Diversity Programs Publications - BioScience, Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services Science - Conferences, program development

5 Biology and Policy - AIBS represents the breadth of biology, but we have a core membership of organismal, integrative and ecological scientists -We are strategic in what we address–try to focus resources on the issues that others can’t or don’t address, issues of broad interest to biology

6 Science Policy Federal policy focus Research funding, integrity (e.g. peer review, politicization), infrastructure Primary agency focus: NSF, USGS, USDA, EPA, NOAA Education and workforce policy, including evolution

7 Policy Communication Bridge between scientists and policymakers Work with media to communicate science to decision-makers and public Provide scientists with tools to influence policy and media Provide timely policy analysis

8 Knowledge Transfer Provide decision-makers with information –Capitol Hill science briefings –Meetings and conferences 2008: Climate, Environment and Infectious Disease 2007: Evolutionary Biology and Human Health 2006: Biodiversity: The Interplay of Science, Valuation, and Policy 2005: Open Access Publishing 2004: Invasive Species: The Search for Solutions 2003: Bioethics in a Changing World

9 Policy Advocacy Lobby lawmakers Coalition efforts: Co-chair, BESC and USGS Coalition, participate in CNSF, STEM Ed, Museum Working Group, Coalition of Scientific Society, Campaign Project Grassroots advocacy, including training to help scientists be effective advocates

10 Advancing Policy Initiatives Demonstrated need Data – scope of problem, informed response Broad, sustained, vocal support Timing

11 Metrics – 1 No hard rules or formulas for measuring impact There are tools to track and facilitate communication between citizens and lawmakers – we do not currently use these We are aware that past ‘action alerts’ have had impact – we’ve received calls from congressional offices

12 Metrics -- 2 Capitol Hill activities this Congress – - Organized science briefing, will do 1 more - Organized 3 receptions on Hill, will do 1 more - Organized >125 congressional visits - Worked to secure legislative language in authorizing and appropriations legislation - Recognized 2 Representatives and 2 Senators for support of biology

13 Metrics – 3 The real measure is outcome –Is desired program or funding included in a formal policy document? –Was the requested funding appropriated? –Is it clear that our message has been internalized by policymakers? –Is the message clearly and consistently articulated in policy documents? –Are teachers permitted to teach evolution?

14 Positive Outcomes We’ve been successful in defeating anti- evolution initiatives in states and on Capitol Hill Key members of Congress have asked questions and inserted report language into legislation recognizing the importance of biology – significant step forward From Hill meetings last week, Appropriators and Science Committee members recognize importance of biology to resolving environmental problems, food & homeland security, energy and health innovation

15 Political Leadership We continue to provide timely analysis to current leadership Provide broad guidance to candidates – e.g. suggestions about key skills and abilities for science appointees Can’t endorse candidates – can highlight positions and seek to educate Have informed scientists about campaigns of interest

16 On-going Conversations Congress – key members of authorizing, appropriating committees, leadership Executive Branch – agency and White House appointees, key staff

17 Messages

18 Message for New Leadership: Global Climate Change Current Congress recognizes significance of GCC and its impact on life GCC is now becoming bipartisan New Administration should be more willing to act – the question will be balance between research and mitigation, and what types of research GCC: Impacts everyone, everywhere. GCC is also a valuable way to frame our message –Allows for basic and applied research; taxa or synthetic; independent and collaborative research

19 Questions Please feel free to contact us at: Robert Gropp –, 202-628- 1500 x Richard O’Grady –, 202- 628-1500 x

20 Thank You Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this important discussion

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