With national security the over-riding priority in Washington, federal science agencies can expect tight funding when the president releases his fiscal year 2003 budget on February 4th. More than ever, the geoscience community needs to make a strong case to Congress on the value of these programs. A great opportunity to make your voice heard is to come to Washington on March 5-6 for the 7th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD).
This event brings scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill to visit Members of Congress and their staff right at the start of the congressional budget cycle. AGI would like to see a strong contingent of geoscientists at this event, voicing their support for increased federal investment in science and technology. We need your help to identify geoscientists who would be interested in participating. We especially encourage the leadership of AGI's Member Societies to attend.
Last year, more than 240 scientists and engineers from academia and industry attended, including close to 20 geoscientists. This year's CVD will consist of an opening day of briefings by key administration and congressional leaders (including a morning pre-briefing for geoscience participants) followed by a day of constituent meetings with senators, representatives, and their staff. We can help arrange the constituent visits.
Participants in CVD are asked to carry forward a core message that broad federal funding for research promotes the nation's security, prosperity, and the innovation of new ideas. In addition, participants can advance their own messages about programs that they see as valuable examples of the federal science and technology enterprise.
It is vital for geoscientists to be represented in science-community efforts if our discipline is to be a recognizable (and valued) element in the congressional view of "science." For anyone interested in science policy, this event should be a good deal of fun and a great opportunity to have your voice heard in Washington. Please pass this message along to anyone you feel might be interested.
If this event appeals to you or you know of someone who would be interested in coming to Washington, please contact Margaret Baker (firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-379-2480 ext. 212).
More information is available on the CVD website at http://www.agiweb.org/cvd/. A summary of a prior Congressional Visits Day is available at http://www.geotimes.org/june00/scene.html. CVD is organized by the Science-Engineering-Technology Work Group (of which AGI is a member) and the Coalition for Technology Partnerships.
Please send any comments or requests for information to the AGI Government Affairs Program.
Posted January 14, 2002
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