If the U.S. Congress is to formulate sound policies that benefit the public interest, science and technology faculty and staff must become active participants in the U.S. decision-making process.A key element of the process is Congress Hearings: Members of Congress ask witnesses in public forums, understand pressing issues, formulate policies and measures, and supervise administrative departments and company practices.

The Academy of Science and Technology should contribute to Congressional hearings because: 1) Legislators should use data and science-derived knowledge to guide policy development, and 2) Deep expertise is required to support effective supervision of complex issues, such as Internet platforms. The dissemination of misinformation or epidemics 3) Members of Congress are decision makers on major issues affecting the science and technology community, such as research funding priorities or the role of foreign nationals in research companies. Convincing moments during the hearing can have a profound impact on public policy, and faculty and staff can help realize these moments.

Experimenting with new models

In the past two and a half years, our American Federation of Scientists team has been iterating a Model Used to organize the scientific and technological community to participate in important congressional hearings. At a hearing, the most effective tool available to members of Congress is a well-designed, sharp question, to share information and to put pressure on witnesses on the day’s issues.We mobilized technology experts and dozens of Hearings – Ask scientists, engineers, technicians, and other subject matter experts for hundreds of suggestions and questions. Our team reviews the factual accuracy of crowdsourced contributions, adds supporting information and converts the contributions into listening question format.

These non-partisan, evidence-based information is then communicated to Congress for use in the hearing. Because the issues raised by our federation are well cited, and the language is easy to understand and the format is correct, legislators can easily digest these opinions during the hearing. Members of Congress raised many of the questions we solicited from scientific and technological experts at important congressional hearings, which facilitated rich discussions on issues and enhanced the capacity of the legislative branch. We also post questions and other non-partisan information materials and resources that indicate political background on the Internet so that policy makers and the public can have a deeper understanding of these issues.

There are 49 differences between the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives Committee There are even more subcommittees holding hearings—in fact, dozens of hearings are held every week during Congress. Incorporating as much science-based information as possible into these hearings is critical. In order to encourage more technology professors to help provide this information, we recommend that they take the following steps.

Keep track of Congress’s schedule of scientific and technical hearings. This Senate and House of Representatives The hearing schedule is online, and notices are usually issued about a week before the hearing. The name of the hearing has a guiding significance for the content of the hearing, but perhaps more relevant is the list of witnesses who will be present at the hearing and the organization they represent. Any questions related to the subject of the hearing or witnesses are fair. When the hearing can benefit from the opinions of your field of expertise, decide to participate in the hearing.

Crowdsourcing is recommended to listen to questions from others in academia. If you have some questions in your mind that you think members of Congress should raise at the hearing, your colleagues may also have them. Contact them via email, phone, or social media; tell them what the hearing is about and the witnesses who appear in court; and encourage them to send you ideas about the hearing issues. Ask them to also contact their colleagues. Identify and contact scientific and technological experts or relevant scientific groups who have recently published papers or columns on the issue to see if they are willing to contribute.

Change what your colleague gives you “Ready” question. This Key parts You should include:

  • A sort of Bold title Explain the entire content of the problem in simple, direct and clear language;
  • A sort of Value statement Indicate the expected result of a particular process;
  • A sort of Problem statement Describe the circumstances that may prevent the expected results from being achieved;
  • Supporting evidence, Including a hyperlink to the source, explaining why the issue needs to be addressed at the hearing—information that is educational for decision makers and the public; and
  • A sort of problem This will lead to an informative response from at least one witness. (It is perfectly appropriate to target the question to a specific witness.)

Because members of Congress and their staff have limited Time and bandwidth, and often generalists, ready Suggest a question It is generally appreciated, especially if it is well cited and based on science.

Identify the appropriate congressional staff to receive questions. While your colleagues are researching their ideas, please call the committee’s majority and minority staff team and the personal offices of all members of Congress on the committee or subcommittee to seek the best contact in their team for that particular hearing. The telephone numbers of committees and personal offices can be found online. The legislator will tell you the best person to send the evidence-based question to because they will solve that particular issue for their boss and are processing the hearing.

The email address of the staff in the personal Senate office is formatted [email protected] (Professional staff of the committee replaced SenatorLastName with the abbreviation of the committee), and all the addresses of the House of Representatives have been formatted [email protected] We recommend creating a spreadsheet to track this information. If you leave your voice mail, no one will reply you after a few days, you should call again.

Post the questions you will send to the hearing online—whether on a website, blog, Google Docs, PDF, or Twitter thread—so that anyone can view them. Be sure to post the link to the question on Twitter.This shows that you can provide high-quality questions for the hearing and help avoid violations Lobby rule and Regulation.

Email your questions to Congress staff. Two days before the hearing, 5 to 10 staff members were blind copied at a time, and questions were included in the body of the email with a single-line title in bold.Congress workers receive a lot of emails, so the subject line of the email should clearly state what you are sending-something like “Question [main idea of hearing here] hearing. “

At the top of the message, briefly state the number of questions you sent, from whom (for example, postdoctoral researchers engaged in infectious disease research), and they are free to use these questions or share them with colleagues if they are helpful. Be sure to hyperlink to the resource with the questions you have publicized, and include all questions in the email again to make sure that the staff sees them when they open the email.

Review hearings and develop policy products. All hearings are broadcast live and archived on the committee webpage or on YouTube, so it’s easy to compare the questions raised during the hearing with the science-based questions you send.

Did you ask any questions? Did they bring about useful or influential exchanges, or get media coverage? Can you write a blog post, Twitter topic, or column about meaningful communication during the hearing or your experience sending questions? The possibility of follow-up activities is high. Your question may even lead to conversations with congressional offices interested in learning more, providing a way to build trust between you and key decision makers.

Suggest modification

Following the above process will produce effective congressional outreach work, but you can make the model more powerful with a few modifications.

Modification A: For hearings attended by representatives of your Congress. The vast majority of senators and congressmen value income very much Re-elected, So they are most concerned about the information they receive from voters and support their needs and concerns at the hearing. The issue of proposed hearings sent by the voter coalition to the offices of members of Congress representing these voters may receive more consideration than non-voter issues. Therefore, please be sure to indicate in your email whether you or your affiliate is a member of a particular policy maker.

Modification B: Cooperate with mature science and technology policy organizations. Congressional staff will put a certain amount of trust in the exchanges of scientists, engineers, and technicians they have never seen before. However, working with organizations that have pre-existing, trusted relationships with staff can make Congress more focused on your issues. Consider working with bipartisan organizations, such as our Bipartisan Policy Center or the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which have established relationships with Capitol Hill.Such organizations also have access to advanced tools that you can take advantage of-for example, you can contribute to our science and technology Policy Discussion Center On the POPVOX non-partisan citizen participation and governance platform.

Continue to participate in the promotion of sound policies

By raising more and more evidence-based questions to Congressional hearings, science and technology teachers can make fundamental contributions to the formulation of major legislation and increase their visibility as a knowledge resource for decision makers. The rich discussions on the issues and the important insights they provided at the hearings will provide information for legislators and the public.

In addition, as a result of this outreach activity, congressional staff will build stronger relationships with scientists, engineers, and technicians with deep expertise. There will be a trustworthy relationship between Capitol Hill staff and STEM experts. By mobilizing regularly to contribute to Congressional hearings, the academic and technological community can be positioned as the resource of choice for decision makers and help promote more effective U.S. public policies.


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