Science Advocates Take to the Hill to Defend SBS Sciences

September 23, 2013

As Congress returned from the August recess, science advocates were busy laying out a strategy to shore up support for the social and behavioral sciences.  The SBS science community met in mid-August to launch a cross-organization coordinating group to address potential threats to our sciences that could be included in a funding bill or NSF reauthorization bill. A Steering Committee will be headed by Felice Levine and Ken Prewitt and involve FABBS, COSSA, and a number of SBS societies. 

The SBS groups also sought to broaden the base of partnerships and supporters in order to strengthen all of science. The meeting included current partners from AAAS and the Coalition for National Science Funding. 

Following the launch, AAAS hosted a meeting of the larger scientific community to discuss threats to the social and behavioral scientists and enlist broad support  for our work on Capitol Hill. The meeting was co-Chaired by FABBS, COSSA, and AAAS, and involved 55 participants from over 40 different organizations. Participants discussed prior activities (e.g., action letter, letters to the Hill, Hill visits) and considered what activities were needed in advance of important floor votes. With support from SAGE Publishers, CRD, a DC-based-lobbying firm, is offering its support by organizing a number of Hill visits for the larger scientific community to carry these messages to the Hill at this critical time.

With the House passage of its Continuing Resolution last week, the SBS sciences have, so far, been able to avoid any further restrictions. We hope that, with the upcoming Senate votes on the CR, we will be able to avoid any problems and perhaps even find a few Senate champions.