With the presidentís budget request set for release in early April, efforts to support federal investment in geoscience programs must now focus on Capitol Hill. There are many new faces in Congress, and it will take a concerted effort from the scientific community to educate them on the importance of federal investment in science. For the geoscience community, the challenge is particularly acute, because several key geoscience programs face likely reductions in the presidentís request.
So mark your calendars and come to Washington for the 6th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day (CVD), taking place on May 1-2, 2001. This annual event brings scientists and engineers to Capitol Hill to visit their members of Congress and congressional staff. 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, 230 scientists and engineers from academia and industry attended, including 30 geoscientists. This year's CVD will consist of an opening day of briefings by key administration and congressional leaders followed by a day of constituent meetings with senators, representatives, and their staff. AGI plans to again join with AGU to hold a pre-briefing for geoscience participants on the 1st, and we can help arrange the constituent visits.
Participants in CVD are asked to carry forward a core message that broad federal investment in science and technology is vital to the future of our Nation's citizens and its economic vitality. 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/, and a summary of the 2000 Congressional Visits Day is available in the June 2000 Geotimes 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 March 17, 2001; Last updated May 12, 2001
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