MOST science policy workshops aim to equip scientists, researchers, and science-supporters to effectively engage with their local, state, and federal elected officials on issues related to evidence-based policy. We hope that participants leave with two skills:
- An understanding of how policy-making happens at the state and federal levels and where evidence can be used to inform policy.
- Knowledge about tangible ways to build relationships and contact elected officials about issues related to evidence-based policy.
Science Policy 101
The workshops begin with a brief presentation on how the policy-making process works and how science can be used to inform policy. We cover policy-making on a local, state, and federal level, and highlight differences among these levels of government. While this portion of the workshop is fairly basic, many of us have not had a refresher on the branches of government, separation of powers, federalism, or how bills become law since a young age. This presentation helps to set the stage for the materials to come.
Panel Discussion with Engaged Scientists and Elected Officials
During the panels, elected officials, legislative staff, and engaged scientists, discuss their experiences working to bridge gap between science and policy. Experts highlight the value of building relationships, story-telling, and sustained contact. During the panel, legislative staff also discuss how constituent feedback is handled at the various levels of government.
Finally, the workshops end by providing participants with tangible ways to better communicate with their elected officials, such as making phone calls, scheduling in-person visits, and interacting on social media. We discuss the effectiveness of various techniques and how that effectiveness differs in Jefferson City and Washington, DC.