Copyright 2017; C. Braine, M. Donegan, L. Long, N. Nunnelly.
It is time that scientists and science enthusiasts get involved to lobby for sound science policy.
We The Scientists offer resources that can be used by scientists and science enthusiasts to advocate for evidence to back every science-related policy decision, including science funding and science policy decisions. We hope you’ll join us in this campaign.
Why should I care about government oversight of scientific research?
Although only two members of Congress identify as scientists, many bills give Congress control over how scientists do research. There are two main reasons this is problematic.
Firstly, scientific breakthroughs often come from unexpected sources! We cannot know all of the potential benefits of a research study ahead of time. Many medical advancements arose from basic science. For example, the technology for bone grafts came from research on coral, and research on Gila monster venom paved the way for new diabetes treatments.
Secondly, political oversight of science can allow politicians to block scientific progress in areas contradictory to their financial and political interests. Bills that give Congress control over what we can research stifle innovation and put our world at risk to protect the financial interests of lobbyists.
There is only one conclusion to be drawn:
the U.S. needs sensible science policy!
The scientific method in and of itself is not political. It is a process meant to discover truth about our world. However, scientists can and should advocate for their work to be supported by the government and their evidence used in political decision-making. It’s time for legislators to start trusting scientists. It's time for scientists to make their voices heard.
You can't do everything,
but everyone can do something.