Tips and Tools
Scientists can play a critical role in the public policy arena by helping policy makers understand scientific findings that have explicit implications for policy choices. In addition, the most effective means of bringing scientific expertise and convictions to the public is by working with the media. However, the intersection of science, policy, and media can be difficult to navigate.
Scientists deal with probabilities, theoretical concepts, and nuanced language; their objectivity is of paramount importance. Policy makers, on the other hand, tackle broad social issues, speak in vague terms, and seldom discuss the intimate details of the issues.
The media world is similarly difficult to navigate. Media is fast-paced and journalists often have a small amount of space to cover complex scientific topics. Yet scientific expertise has never been in higher demand in the mainstream media.
We have put together a series of tips and tools to help scientists bridge the gap with the media and with policy makers based on the Union of Concerned Scientists’ extensive experience working with scientists, policy makers, and the media to ensure that rigorous scientific analysis is included in important public policy debates and covered effectively in the press.
Communicating with Policy Makers
- Having a Productive Telephone Call
- Becoming a Science Resource
- Getting a Meeting with Your Policy Maker
- Having an Effective Visit with Your Policy Maker
- Raising Issues at Public Meetings
- Writing an Effective Letter to Your Policy Maker