- Stacey Schultz-Cherry, Ph.D., Professor of Infectious Diseases and Associate Dean, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Council Chair
- Carolyn Shore, Ph.D., Director, National Academies Forum on Drug Discovery, Development and Translation
- Sanjana Mukherjee, Ph.D., MsC, Global Health Security Research Fellow, Georgetown University
- Beth Oates, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Gryphon Scientific Consulting Firm
The panelists offered their recommendations on ways to enter the science policy realm and build existing skills.
Serve on Public and Scientific Affairs Committee: Stacey Schultz-Cherry credits her advocacy skills to working with professionals as part of ASM’s Public and Scientific Affairs Committee, of which she is now the chair. “I now use a lot of tools that I learned through the PSAC and ASM in my personal scientific career and take a lot of opportunities to advocate for science not just with nonscientists and the general community members but also with leadership, whether it be within my institution or at a state and federal level.”
Participate in ASM Hill Day: ASM Hill Days give selected qualified participants the opportunity to meet with their elected officials and advocate for science, as well as the training to do so. “Hill Day was a great way to really talk to policymakers about the microbial sciences and why continued funding in this area is critical,” said Sanjana Mukherjee.
Build Your Network with ASM: Beth Oates was an ASM ambassador for her state of Kentucky and started an ASM chapter on her university campus.“Everyone...in science policy wants to help, and even if they can’t help you directly, they know someone who might know someone, and you’re building this network of people,” she said. Beth suggested attending conferences and staying in the know by signing up for email newsletters.
Enroll in ASM Communications Training: Across her roles in science policy, “[communication] has been the most important skill, being able to package and repackage, synthesize and communicate ideas, either to technical audiences, regulatory audiences or lay audiences,” said Carolyn Shore. ASM offers courses throughout the year in addition to publishing articles that help microbiologists eliminate jargon and translate science for policymakers.
To learn more about the variety of advocacy opportunities and resources ASM provides for its members, visit asm.org/advocacy.