Sorry and Lets Move On? What do we do about this?

Bart Janssen bjanssen at
Wed Aug 20 12:46:51 EST 1997

Karen Allendoerfer wrote:

> Someone else on this list has suggested emailing President Clinton.  I
> suspect he's also not really the right target for our suggestions.
> But
> who is?  Harold Varmus?  Keith Yamamoto (I think he was running for an
> office in the AAAS)?  Bruce Alberts?  Grant administrators in the NIH?
> Presidents or officers of our professional societies?  Congress?

I personally think the right target is the general public.  If you
convince the general public then everyone else (in particular
politicians) will follow suit.  The sad thing is that if a politician
doesn't see votes in an issue then they are not interested (with a few
notable exceptions).  However, once the public feels or is aware that
there is a problem then you can start to sway politicians.  How do you
convince the public, I don't know, I just talk to anyone who will
listen, but you could write to journalists and editors of the
newspapers, you can also do a lot of evangilism on-line (yes I think
science needs evangilists), you could make a great/interesting web site
describing neat labs which are doing valuable research etc, you can talk
at schools (most schools love visits from scientists, and schoolkids are
definately a good group to sway).......

Other than dealing with the public, by all means write to everyone
concerned, panel members, grant commitees, congressmen, state
legislators etc.  I suspect that until politicians come through with
more funding the response will be a uniform "yes we understand and
sympathise but we don't have the funds".

> And how should we go about approaching these people?  As individuals?
> Through some sort of mass mailing campaign?  Through fora such as the
> AAAS meeting?  As representatives of some sort of organization such as
> the "Young Scientists' Network?"  All of the above?

All of the above and anything else that hasn't been mentioned as well.


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