Advocacy Network Newsletter - March 2018
Hill Day Recap
As part of SfN's 12th annual Capitol Hill Day, 52 neuroscience advocates traveled to Capitol Hill last week to promote increased investment in scientific research. Participants included SfN President Richard Huganir, SfN President-Elect Diane Lipscombe, members of SfN's Government and Public Affairs Committee and Trainee Advisory Committee, 2018 Early Career Policy Ambassadors, regional advocacy leaders, and dedicated advocates from across the globe.
Emphasizing that America thrives through federal investment in research, advocates spoke with 93 congressional offices throughout the day, including 12 meetings with elected officials. In total, 25 states and 6 countries were represented. Participants walked a combined 400 miles throughout the day!
In the kickoff to the full-day event, SfN President Richard Huganir presented Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) with the Public Advocacy Award in recognition of their contributions to advancing the field of neuroscience by serving as champions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Congress. Their acceptance was live-streamed on Facebook.
The event generated a social media buzz including shout-outs from Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Roy Blunt. In total, #SfNHillDay was used in more than 650 social posts, and #NeuroAdvocate was tagged in more than 260 posts. SfN gives a special thanks to those who shared the importance of federal research funding by participating in SfN's Virtual Hill Day. SfN streamed the opening remarks for the day, generating more than 1,600 views on Facebook and 2,000 views of its Instagram story to help raise awareness about federal advocacy activities across the Society.
You can keep the momentum going by contacting Congress now to tell them to finish the FY18 budget. We look forward to continuing our advocacy efforts throughout the rest of the year and invite you to remain an active #NeuroAdvocate.
Federal News Roundup
- Senate budget agreement negotiated $2 billion NIH increase over two years
- President's budget proposed flat funding for NIH and NSF
- NSF committed to curbing sexual harassment in the sciences
- China to surpass U.S. in R & D funding
Build Your Advocacy Skills
Learn to connect with policymakers through the SfN-Research!America webinar series:
Inspiring Others to Be Science Advocates. Empower your network to advocate for science and achieve legislative success. (April 18)
Measuring Advocacy Outcomes. Learn to allocate your resources appropriately by evaluating your advocacy performance against short- and long-term goals, managing expectations, and identifying gaps in science advocacy metrics. (June 1)
Leveraging Public Opinion in Support of Science. Learn to craft a concise, compelling narrative about the value of your research using opinion survey data on scientific issues. (Now available on demand)
Strategies to Maximize Your Advocacy Results. Discover new advocacy opportunities and targeted communication strategies to connect with Congress and the administration. (Now available on demand)
Neuroscience Progress Requires Consistent Federal Support
Richard Huganir, SfN president and director of the Department of Neursocience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, responds to the president's fiscal year 2019 budget proposal in The Hill. Huganir emphasizes the need for Congress to reject flat funding and to continue taking strides toward robust biomedical research support.
Federal Neuroscience Funding Enables Discovery
In The Birmingham News, Lori McMahon, member of SfN's Government and Public Affairs Committee and dean of the University of Alabama Birmingham Graduate School, urges Congress to increase investment in NIH and NSF. Demonstrating the potential of federal investment in science, McMahon's NSF-funded research involves a multidisciplinary collaboration across four universities and seeks to repair brain function lost after injury.
Conveying the Importance of Basic Research
In her recent Q&A, Charlotte Boettiger, a member of SfN's Government and Public Affairs Committee, emphasizes the need to continuously hone your communication skills in order to effectively engage in policymakers.
Speaking Authentically About Animals in Research
SfN Committee on Animals in Research member Katalin Gothard writes of her positive experience sharing nonhuman primate research transparently with the public.
Congressional Briefing Features Animals in Research
Amanda Dettmer, a SfN Committee on Animals in Research member, covers a recent briefing updating members of the House of Representatives on BRAIN Initiative progress. Co-sponsored by SfN, the American Brain Coalition, and the American Academy of Neurology, the briefing emphasized that animal models are essential to the research process.
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Contact your legislator about research funding via the Advocacy Action Center
- Learn how to engage your members of Congress and persuasively advocate for science
- Engage your lawmakers directly by calling, scheduling an in-person meeting or a lab tour
- Get involved in global advocacy
- Talk to the public about the importance of animal research