Monday, October 1, 2012

Take 10 minutes now

What if just 10 minutes could make a big difference? This is Science Advocacy Week (October 1-5, 2012), when your 10 minutes, added to my 10 minutes, added to 10 minutes from scientists across the nation adds up to a spotlight on bio-optics in particular, and science in general.

Not everyone understands how important basic research is--a fact that is unfortunate at best and, in the case of elected officials, potentially devastating. This week presents a great opportunity to heighten the profile of your work and its impact. 

Next week the news media will report the 2012 Nobel Prizes in science, and when President Obama’s correspondence office staff sorts through incoming messages to pass along to the president, they look for examples that are timely, compelling, and representative of topics in the news (according to Mike Kelleher, former director of that office). So the timing's perfect; let’s do what we can to see that science topics dominate the in boxes of our elected officials this week.  

A nice page on the website makes it super easy to send the same message to all of your federal lawmakers at once. Very cool!  

When composing your message, keep in mind that just last month, lawmakers heard highlights from the NRC’s new Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation report, which discussed the importance of these technologies in life sciences among many other areas.    

Also keep in mind these tips, drawn from
o  Be polite.
o  Keep it short and accessible to laymen, and write to the interests of those who will read it.
o  Be personable, be yourself.
o  Don’t be shy, don’t use all caps.
o  Contact only your own lawmakers (using this link ensures you will), and make it clear at the top of your message that you are a constituent

I always like to give to charity when there’s an opportunity for matching donations, and I think this week’s advocacy campaign amounts to about the same thing in the interests of science. Let’s add our voices to those of the American Society for Cell Biology and the and the Genetics Society of America. Please join me in going to bat for bio-optics.

No comments: