Phone Script for Promoting Science-Informed Leadership to Senators
Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m a constituent from [where you are from]. I am a [mention any education or job credentials that may give you credibility], and I’m calling to speak with [Senator’s name] to express my concern about the role of science in the new presidential administration. I believe that cabinet officials and the leaders of federal agencies should demonstrate a track record of science-informed decision-making, and should express a commitment to engaging the scientific community in relevant policy decisions.
Note: You do not need to share personal information if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, but at a minimum mention that you are a constituent of the senator you are calling. If you are comfortable doing so, sharing your credentials (scientist, teacher, citizen of California, etc) makes a difference.
Pick from some of these talking points to begin a conversation, or share a personal story if applicable. You can also use talking points from your letter. If you have a listening ear, keep the conversation going for as long as you’d like.
- We currently face global challenges such as food security, climate change, and threats to public health. In order for our country to keep innovating in the face of such challenges, I believe it is imperative that the leaders in the U.S. federal government value the scientific process as a tool that will move our country into the future, defer to the body of scientific evidence when making policy and regulatory decisions, and work to protect scientific integrity at all levels.
- The Department of Energy plays a critical role in the development of renewable energy technologies and infrastructure by conducting research and funding innovation. Continuing to invest money and resources into developing new, sustainable energy technologies is essential for the US to remain energy-independent and will protect both our economy and our environment. Such developments are only possible if the Secretary of Energy has a good understanding of current energy technology and is willing to make decisions about the future of US energy based on information and research.
- The EPA plays an important role in ensuring the health and safety of our air and drinking water, as well as conducting valuable research about climate change. Science-based regulations passed by the EPA keep our air and water clean and cannot be eliminated simply because they are inconvenient. I consider it essential that the appointed EPA Administrator is an advocate of unbiased scientific research and fosters an environment of scientific integrity within the agency.
- The United States has world-class teaching universities carrying out innovative medical research which depend on financial and political support from a national government that values and supports the continuation of unbiased research. Additionally, some of our largest employers are hospitals and universities, making health care an important part of our economy. I believe that in order for our country to continue to pioneer medical advances and work towards a healthcare system that accommodates all citizens, we need a leader in the Department of Health and Human Services who is a strong advocate for science-based policymaking and the continuation of innovative research.
- The Secretary of the Interior plays an important role in stewarding America’s natural resources; policy decisions and regulations that affect these resources ought to be informed by scientific evidence. I consider it essential that the appointed Secretary of the Interior is an advocate of unbiased scientific research and fosters an environment of scientific integrity within the agency.
- I believe that Executive branch leaders who are hostile to science or in the pocket of industry pose a real threat to America’s future as a leader in technology innovation. I am worried about the lack of qualifications and the past anti-science actions of some of the nominees for key science-related posts, and I think their appointment could have a chilling effect on scientific research that harms our country’s ability to innovate and remain at the forefront of high technology businesses in the global economy. As a Senator from a state with diverse and growing technology-based industries, I believe you are especially qualified to bring these concerns to the Senate and to ensure your colleagues understand what is at stake.
End your conversation with:
I would like to urge [Senator’s name] to consider the importance of scientific values when voting on the confirmation of cabinet and cabinet-level nominees whose decisions will influence policy, regulations, and funding affecting science, energy, the environment, education, and public health. In particular, I am asking [Senator’s name] to only vote “yes” on nominees for science-related cabinet and cabinet-level positions who demonstrate a track record of fact-based decision making, support for independent scientific research, and a sufficient background in science to understand and appreciate the value of the important research and policy-making conducted by federal offices and agencies. Thank you for your time and I hope that we can consider [Senator’s name] an ally to science during confirmation voting.