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Social sciences/Sociology/Social psychology/Public opinion/Controversy

Forest Service also sees a cut to its research activities while debate over environmental policy riders takes center stage at Committee markups.

Despite the re-election of a pro-science president and broad bipartisan support for science in Congress, research and development is facing historic budget and political challenges that could restrain the U.S. research enterprise for the next generation, analysts said recently at AAAS.

Scientists are increasingly being encouraged to engage in the public policy process, which can include advocacy. Yet for some, “advocacy” remains taboo—an activity too closely associated with lobbying—and ethical guidance on responsible forms of advocacy is scarce.

Advocacy, an elusive concept that is generally considered to be “a deliberate, purposeful expression of an opinion” or an attempt to “influence a specific outcome,” continues to generate controversy within the scientific community, a new AAAS report confirms.