Fall 2017

SfN Member Advocacy Strategy Takes Root



Over the past year SfN significantly enhanced its efforts to engage U.S. members in advocacy to ensure Congress continues to support robust, sustained funding for scientific research and favorable policies that advance scientific discovery.

From lab tours in California and South Carolina, to a series of in-person congressional meetings in New York, to dozens of Capitol Hill visits in Washington, DC, lawmakers have heard SfN member’s  call for increased funding of scientific research loud and clear. In response to the collective voices of SfN members and our coalition partners across the NIH advocacy community, the Senate has proposed $2 billion increase in NIH funding for FY 2018.

For the initial phase of SfN’s long-term advocacy plan, the Society worked within six geographic locations – New York, Houston, southwest Ohio, Lehigh Valley, and Baltimore. SfN partnered with advocacy leaders in these locations throughout the year on a number of activities to engage the public and Congress about the importance of basic scientific research.

These efforts include publication of op-eds in the Cincinnati Enquirer and Houston Chronicle by SfN advocacy leaders discussing the value of robust funding of biomedical sciences for public health and their local communities. In addition, a member of SfN’s Committee on Animals in Research published an op-ed in The Hill on the critical role of animals in the research process. SfN also maintains key partnerships with scientific organizations around the world in order to facilitate successful events such as the Rally for Medical Research, in which SfN advocacy leaders from the strategic targeted areas joined more than 350 participants from 37 states and DC, in meetings with 250 House and Senate offices

Mark Your Calendar: Advocacy Webinar Series

SfN is partnering with Research!America on a four-part webinar series designed to maximize your advocacy efforts. 

  • December 4: Leveraging Data to Frame Public Opinion
  • February 23: Strategies to Enhance your Advocacy Effectiveness
  • April 18: Inspiring Others to Be Science Advocates
  • June 1: Measuring Advocacy Outcomes

As SfN expands its advocacy efforts, advocacy leaders will continue to mobilize local SfN members to promote neuroscience research and engage with lawmakers in their community.

Advocacy Activities at Neuroscience 2017

Join your fellow SfN members at Neuroscience 2017 for events focused on building your skills to effectively engage various audiences about the value of your research. Throughout Neuroscience 2017, SfN will capture your advocacy stories, highlighting how global collaboration advances scientific discovery. These stories will be shared through an interactive display to demonstrate that science has no borders.

Public Advocacy Forum: Advocating for Basic Science in a Disease-Focused World

While researchers understand that basic research is the foundation for scientific advancement, the lag between federal investment and medical breakthroughs can cloud the long-term value of basic research. During the Public Advocacy Forum, attendees will gain the skills necessary to ensure policymakers understand the essential role of the research continuum to secure financial and political support. Tuesday, November 14, 2:30-4:00 p.m., Washington Convention Center, Room 201.

Immediately following, please join us for the Advocacy Reception to network with fellow neuroscience advocates. Tuesday, November 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Washington Convention Center, Hall E.

How to Effectively Communicate Your Animal Research: Elevator Speech, Social Media, and Best Practices

Scientists often face audience-specific challenges when discussing the role of animals in research. This interactive panel, supported by the National Primate Research Centers, will assist you in developing tailored strategies to promote understanding for the vital role of animal models in research across audiences. Monday, November 13, noon-2:00 p.m., Washington Convention Center, Room 103A

Visit the SfN Advocacy Booth

Join fellow neuroscience advocates at the SfN Advocacy Booth for an opportunity to discuss the importance of advocacy, network with colleagues engaged in advocacy efforts, and see what others are doing around the world to advocate on behalf of neuroscience. The booth will provide you with on-the-spot advocacy activities to engage the public and Congress.