Who we are
The UCS Science Network is an inclusive community of more than 20,000 scientists, engineers, economists, public health specialists, and other experts across the country working to educate the public and inform decisions critical to our health, safety, and environment. The Science Network embraces the full diversity of scientists and their perspectives. Read more about diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Science Network.
A Dreamer in STEM
Evelyn Valdez-Ward is a third year PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. As a Ford Fellow, her work focuses on the effects of climate change on the interactions between plants and their soil microbes. Meet Evelyn, and read more about her story as a Dreamer in STEM and how she advocates to protect undocumented scientists. Plus you can read the stories of 22 other Science Network members who have brought their expertise to policy makers, the public, and the media. Read more >
Join the Science Network
Become one of the thousands of experts who are helping UCS make a difference!
Who can join?
The UCS Science Network is intended for scientists, engineers, health professionals, and economists with (or working towards) an advanced degree. (Review the eligibility requirements.) If you don’t fall into any of those categories, and you want to help UCS make a difference, we encourage you to join the UCS Action Network.
Early career scientists
If your scientific career is just beginning, the Science Network offers opportunities to get involved, networking events on science and policy careers, and trainings to build your strength as a science communicator and advocate.
Learn more about opportunities for early career scientists>
Science Network members are using their expertise to make a difference—speaking to the media, delivering testimony, signing on to expert letters to elected officials, conducting research and environmental impact assessments, and serving on federal advisory committees. Here are some recent examples of Science Network members having a positive impact:
Win: Increased Funding for Agroecology
Despite anticipated budget cutbacks, the 2017 budget included a $27.3 million increase in funding for agroecological research. Contributing to this success were five Science Network member agricultural researchers from around the country who flew in to DC to meet with key members of House and Senate appropriations committees. The researchers brought a straightforward message that agricultural research is critically important for healthy food and healthy farms, and that it’s vital to increase our investment in agroecological research for the benefit of farmers, the environment, and rural communities.
Building Momentum During the Science Week of Action
The Science Network kicked off the week of action at the March for Science, with large crowds in DC and around the country. Later that week, 50 Science Network members from 11 states participated in more than 75 meetings with Congressional members and staff for the largest lobbying initiative in UCS history. At the Peoples Climate Mobilization, Science Network members were joined by activists and students from historically black colleges and universities to march with UCS. These efforts were just the start of a much larger movement to stand up for science and impacted communities.
Win: Renewable Energy Law in Illinois
UCS partnered with allies in Illinois to help pass the biggest clean energy bill in state history with bipartisan support. The bill included provisions for new investment in renewable energy, access to solar for low-income residents, and a clear path to meeting the state’s goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. Science Network members contributed to this multi-year campaign by applying public pressure to legislators through letters to the editor, media appearances, presenting at community town halls on the benefits of clean energy, hosting events at universities and colleges, and traveling to Springfield to meet with their legislators.
Progress: Watchdogging Against Federal Attacks on Science
The Regulatory Accountability Act would significantly disrupt our science-based rulemaking process. With UCS support, Science Network members have been “watchdogging for science” in key states to prevent bad bills like the RAA from passing in the Senate, using their position as scientists and constituents to defend science. 12 watchdogs organized in-district meetings with their members of Congress to discuss the RAA and the federal budget, and UCS supported over 7,000 Science Network members around the country who made calls and sent emails in the lead up to activity on this key bill.
Whether you're an experienced scientist–advocate, or an early career scientist taking your first steps into advocacy, the Science Network can help you increase your impact.
Our Science in Action Toolkit page offers hands-on guides and resources for taking local action to push back on threats to science, and push for science-informed solutions.
Visit these pages for quick videos, webinars, and other tools to strengthen your skills in the fundamental elements of effective science advocacy:
Engaging effectively with journalists and the media takes practice, but is an important science communication skill to master. These resources, templates, and trainings provide guidance on how to get started and gain more experience. Learn more >
Scientists have a tremendous opportunity to improve access to and understanding of technical information in communities, leading to better solutions. Browse our resources on working with communities to learn about best practices for respectful, effective engagement. Learn more >
Bringing science to the policy making process is crucial to our democracy—but facts alone often aren’t enough. Learn ways to effectively advocate for science by engaging with legislators. Learn more >
Communicating effectively to the public, media, and policy makers is more important than ever. The UCS communication toolkit offers tips, strategies, and best practices to talk to skeptical audiences, to get your stories in local media, and to sharpen your message for decisionmakers. Learn more >