As far as science advocacy goes, the March for Science to be held in Washington, DC and locations across the world is a double-edge sword. It has sparked enormous enthusiasm and energy unlike anything ever seen in the once-obscure circles of science policy. However the march does threaten to undermine the bipartisan consensus for public investments in science that continues despite the recent U.S. presidential election. As folks prepare for the science march tomorrow they might want to consider also how to advocate for science in more sustainable and effective ways beyond marching.
Here’s a tip for better advocacy: do some homework then head to your local legislator’s office instead either alone or in a small group. According a new report, direct constituent interactions have more influence on lawmakers’ decisions than other advocacy strategies. In three surveys of congressional staff over a 10-year span, over 95% said that “in-person visits from constituents” would have “some” or “a lot” of influence on an undecided lawmaker. Good science communication resources are available from organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science.