AAAS is making the “CASE” for undergrads & grad students to be science advocates!

If you are an upper-class undergrad, or are in grad school, and you’ve always been interested in science policy, but didn’t know where to begin, then do we have a lead for you! The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has brought together for a second year, a coalition of scientific and engineering societies, universities, and academic organizations to create a program to introduce science policy and advocacy to the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Called CASE, which stands for Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering, it is a chance for upper-class undergraduates and graduate students in the science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines to take part in a three-and-a-half day workshop in Washington DC in the spring of 2015 (April 12-15). Students will learn about:

“the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations processes, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement. In addition, students will participate in interactive seminars about policy-making and communication. By the end of the workshop students will have an opportunity to learn about ways to remain engaged through on-campus activities.” (See more here.)

Additionally, students will participate in teams after the workshop to conduct meetings with their Members of Congress and congressional staff to put what they learned to use. It’s a great chance to learn why things happen in Washington and if it’s something you’d want to consider for a career.

How can you get involved? Well it’s a sponsoring process: each student must be sponsored by a university or professional society, and institutions may send one to two students. Sponsoring institutions are responsible for a $100.00 registration fee per student, as well as all associated travel and lodging costs. The deadline is February 6th; space is limited and it is first-come, first-served.

This sounds very similar to CRA’s LiSPI workshop, only geared to students. And it is providing a valuable tool to the science community, as often there is a disconnect between what goes on in Washington and how that impacts those in the science community (and what the science community can do about it). This helps bridge that natural disconnect. While CRA isn’t participating specifically in CASE, the groups who are organizing it are some of the best in the science policy world of Washington. If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to apply.