16 December 2010

Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think!

Posted by mohi

Are you interested in the intersection between science and society?  Do you know where to get started?  Does it seem too time consuming or challenging?

Don’t worry: Getting involved in politics might be easier than you think!

AGU hosted a lunch workshop on Tuesday entitled “Communicating with Congress” with past AGU Congressional Science Fellow, Karen Wayland.  Karen is currently the climate and energy advisor for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).  She discussed the nuts and bolts of how Congress works and how scientists can be most effective in communicating their research with elected officials and how to develop a relationship with them.

For those scientists who are gung-ho and want to take it one step further, AGU sponsors two Congressional Science Fellows each year.  Fellows spend one year working on Capitol Hill in the office of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee.  Fellows advise these politicians on a wide variety of issues, not necessarily all related to science, as well as write speeches, meet with lobbyists, and support the congressperson they are shadowing at various events.  AGU sponsored a luncheon on Wednesday where attendees could meet the current Congressional Science Fellows–Jason Day, who works for Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Ilya Fischhoff, who works for Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass.)–and learn about their experiences.  Applications for the 2011-2012 season are currently being accepted through 1 February.

If you want to go even further, why not run for office yourself?  The 2012 Project is hosting a FREE luncheon today, encouraging women scientists to run for elected office.  The luncheon will take place from 12:30-1:30p at the InterContinental San Francisco Ballroom C.

However, one of the easiest ways to get involved is to sign up for AGU’s Science Policy Alerts.  These emails will keep you up to date on the latest developments on Earth and space sciences as they evolve on Capitol Hill.  I encourage you to have a look at the science policy section of the AGU website to learn more.  Or, learn about more of the science and society events at the AGU Fall Meeting in a special section of the meeting’s website.

If you’ve attended any of the science and society events so far, I hope it inspired you to become more involved!

–Kaitlin Chell, AGU Public Affairs Coordinator, [email protected]