Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering
When the 2013 federal budget sequestration measures went into effect, many graduate students saw critical research dollars shrink or disappear. These students were among the most vocal and energetic participants in grassroots efforts to advocate for restored funding. But they needed help mobilizing.
Students want to engage with policymakers and contribute to the national discussion on a wide range of issues but they frequently don't know where to start.
Using contributions from the Flexible Action Fund, AAAS established the Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop to help students like these learn how to channel their passion for science and engineering into effective advocacy.
Now in its third year, the annual three-and-a-half-day CASE workshop—created by a coalition of scientific and engineering societies, universities, and academic organizations— educates students about the structure and organization of Congress and the basics of the federal budget process.
Each spring, the workshop provides an opportunity for a group of upper-class undergraduate and graduate students to learn, to get involved, to advocate for science, and to share their stories with their member of congress. In short, they learn how to make an impact.
Students learn tools for more effective science communication and civic engagement that empower them to become a voice for research and for science throughout their careers. And, as noted by several of the former CASE participants, they gain a sense of optimism that they can contribute and they can make a difference. A few students have leveraged their CASE experience to become AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows.
These CASE workshops and the resulting advocacy efforts by students would not be possible without donations to the AAAS Flexible Action Fund. We greatly appreciate of the generosity of all donors who have contributed to this fund.
This is just one example of the kinds of work AAAS is doing to be strong advocates for science. If you would like to support these efforts and programs like this, click here to make a tax-deductible gift.