As members of the research community, we have an obligation to protect our careers (or future careers). Most research money comes from the US Gov’t, and in all honesty, scientists have an awful PR problem….and we never show up to represent ourselves. We must get better at explaining to the greater community why fundamental research is important to the advancement of our society.
To work on this, I have previously served on the board of directors for the Arizona Students’ Association (Vice Chair of External/Legislative Affairs), the United States Students’ Association (Chair of Grad/Prof. Students), the National Association of Graduate and Professional students (Western Region Chair/Director), and my local Graduate Student Government (Vice President). I am currently going into my second year as President of the NAU Graduate Student Government.
I have spent a lot of time flying around the country (especially Washington DC) to fight for general higher ed funding, and especially research funding. Some places I have had audiences at include the White House, Congress, Dept. of Ed, Department of State, NSF, NIH, and the Arizona State legislature. I have worked (and continue to work) on several pieces of legislation, and was the author of the only national letter to congress stressing the sequester/shutdown’s impact on the research world in 2013.
Recently, my focus has been on protecting and increasing STEM funding in the USA. It is tricky to explain why fundamental research is important to the general public, but I work with some great people who help me produce talking points and policy at the State and National level.
If you would like to learn how to get involved, fill out the form below! Research lobbyists are always in demand!