AAAS was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to convene a two-day invitational workshop to explore issues related to advocacy in science. The workshop was held on October 17-18, 2011 at AAAS. Many of today’s critical public policy decisions have strong science underpinnings (e.g., climate change and embryonic stem cell research), and policy makers could, and often do, benefit from scientists’ expertise. However, what role, if any, scientists should play as advocates for specific policies is a matter of heated debate both inside the scientific community and in society more generally. Increasingly, scientists are viewed as going beyond merely offering scientific opinions, and instead taking on an advocacy role in policy deliberations; a role that has important implications for the relationship between science and society as well as for public policy decisions.
This workshop was an interdisciplinary effort to examine the definition, contexts and parameters of advocacy as it might be applied to scientists in the policy arena. Participants discussed the normative aspects of such advocacy, including what it means to engage in “responsible advocacy,” the risks and benefits of advocacy for scientists and society, the ethical implications of undertaking various forms advocacy, and the need for resources and education on advocacy for scientists, students, and professional societies. Participants were drawn from a wide range of disciplines, institutional affiliations, backgrounds and perspectives. While the workshop will produce free-standing outcomes, it is also intended to help set the boundaries for a larger project on advocacy in science by AAAS.
The Workshop is partially supported with funds from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1052877.
The following papers were commissioned as background materials for the AAAS Workshop on Advocacy in Science.
Kathy Barker Independent Science Writer
Steven Benner Distinguished Fellow Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution
Mark Brown Associate Professor Department of Government California State University, Sacramento
Dominique Brossard Department of Life Sciences Communication University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rebecca Carlson Program Assistant Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program AAAS
Mark S. Frankel Director Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program AAAS
David Goldston Director, Government Affairs Natural Resources Defense Council
Jean Goodwin Associate Professor Department of English Iowa State University
Gigi Gronvall Senior Associate Center for Biosecurity University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Susan Haack Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Law University of Miami
Steven Hamburg Chief Scientist Environmental Defense Fund
Ruth Krulfeld Professor Emeritus Departments of Anthropology, International Affairs, and Human Sciences George Washington University
Denise Lach Professor of Sociology Oregon State University
Mark A. Largent Associate Professor James Madison College Michigan State University
Mathew (Willy) Lensch Principal Faculty and Faculty Advisor for Education Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Gabrielle Long Senior Advisor, Advanced Photon Source Argonne National Laboratory
Joseph Perpich President, JGPerpich, LLC
Steve Pierson Director of Science Policy American Statistical Association
Janet Rachlow Associate Professor Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources University of Idaho
David Rejeski Director, Science and Technology Innovation Program Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Melanie Roberts National Coordinator, Forum on Science, Ethics and Policy
Deborah Runkle Senior Program Associate Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program AAAS
Glenn S. Ruskin Director, Office of Public Affairs American Chemical Society
Dan Sarewitz Co-Director, Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes Arizona State University
Dietram Scheufele John E. Ross Professor of Science Communication University of Wisconsin, Madison
Joan Sieber Professor Emeritus Department of Psychology California State University, East Bay
Nick Steneck Director, Research Ethics and Integrity Program Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research
Douglas L. Weed Founder, DLW Consulting Services, LLC
Jason Yang Ph.D. Candidate Biomedical Engineering University of Virginia