ASM Policy Framework

Nov. 19, 2019

The American Society for Microbiology recognizes the essential role of public policy in advancing microbial science as a cross-cutting and global endeavor. Microbiology transcends government agencies and borders, and continued advancement in the field requires adherence to certain core policy principles. ​With over 36,000 members representing 26 disciplines, ASM has a unique voice in advocating for the sciences. Those voices make a big difference. In fact, a survey of Congressional and federal staffers found 80% of respondents consider trade and professional associations like ASM to be trusted sources of political information.

Articulating policy principles is fundamental to advocate to Congress and the Executive Branch on important issues. Therefore, the Society has set forth a broad-based framework based on 6 key policy principles that span the areas in which microbiology intersects with public policy: from health, to agriculture, to energy and the environment, to biodefense. All this must be done while promoting a culture where science can thrive.

Illustration of ASM's 6 policy pillars as a classic Greek building.

The policy principles were developed by ASM’s Policy Development Task Force with input from multiple stakeholders to ensure this foundation is representative of our diverse membership and addresses present and future needs.

ASM is committed to advocating for public policies that are rooted in science. We recognize the essential role of the microbial sciences in helping to address humanity’s most daunting—and evolving—challenges. We strive to better understand diseases and conditions affecting humans, plants and animals and microbial communities that play a critical beneficial role in everything from wastewater treatment to food production to the development of lifesaving drugs.

We believe that science must serve the public interest and that policies must be based upon sound science. When advocating for science, it is particularly important that the messages be clearly presented, compelling to nonscientists and based on scientific evidence. Our effective advocacy strategy is based on a multi-pronged approach, addressing the interconnectedness of policy development, policymaker outreach and grassroots initiatives, with communications cutting across the 3 components.

  • Policy Development: ASM weighs in on public policies, often in response to specific requests from Congress or regulatory agencies.
  • Policymaker Outreach: ASM educates Members of Congress and their staff about ASM, its members and the importance of investing in the microbial sciences.
  • Grassroots: ASM is working to develop a new, sophisticated grassroots mobilization effort that effectively leverages the power and geographic distribution of its membership.

As a core part of its mission, ASM leads, collaborates and galvanizes scientists, stakeholders and the public across multiple sectors and at multiple levels to advance the field through evidence-based public policy. We advocate for funding that reflects the tremendous scientific opportunities to fuel discoveries and build a vibrant bioeconomy. We promote researchers at all levels and support infrastructure and training for the next generation of researchers who will build on the progress made to date and continue to drive economic activity around the globe. We believe a diverse, inclusive research environment will lead to better science and discoveries and advances that will benefit all of humankind.

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.