Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wanted: Your Story!

Upon arriving at Research!America last month, I was asked to define a project I would partake in over my time here that would be both interesting to me and helpful to the organization. The possibilities were endless, and I thought long and hard about what I would choose to study and how to go about it.

Eight weeks later and I am up to my ears in studies of how scientists engage in advocacy and outreach, both to the public and (occasionally) to the legislative branch. I’ve read about information provision, motivations, time constraints, and negative impacts and despite all I’ve read, there is one big thing missing:

Personal stories.

So here’s what I need from you, New Voices! Are you a lab scientist who takes time out of your admittedly busy schedule to do some form of public outreach (especially to your elected officials)? If so, I’d love to talk to you and ask you some questions about your work. It’ll be great to hear how different scientists all over the country are prioritizing advocacy and why.

So please leave a comment or send me an email at aortman_at_researchamerica.org and let me know if you’re willing to answer a few questions. It will help us here at Research!America to better understand advocacy from the point of view of scientists, and how to persuade more scientists to be advocates. And it would be great, from one scientist to another, if I could have some more data for this experiment.

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