Science Policy and Advocacy

The ASA’s science policy activities raise the profile of statistics nationally. By advocating on behalf of its members and providing resources to policymakers, the ASA promotes the practice and profession of statistics. Take advantage of the resources listed here and keep up to date on science policy–related developments by checking this page frequently.

Advocating for ASA Members

The ASA advocates widely on behalf of its members, with an emphasis on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) budgets and the interests of the federal statistical agencies.

For the breadth of the ASA’s advocacy on behalf of its members, see Letters Signed/Sent and follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol.

Elevating the Profile of Statisticians in Policymaking

A central responsibility of the ASA’s science policy work is to raise the profile of statisticians in policymaking. The ASA does this through meetings with key policymakers or their staff, media outreach, and documents such as the following one-pagers, whitepapers, and links to more information:

Resources for Policymakers

The ASA provides resources for policymakers on a range of topics, from fundamental statistical concepts to how statistics can help advance science or inform a policy.

Keeping ASA Members Informed

An important ASA science policy activity is to keep ASA members apprised of current policy developments. This is done through various means, including personal interactions, the ASA’s monthly enewsletter, the ASA website, and the following resources:

Federal Budget Information

In addition to advocating for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) budgets and the interests of the federal statistical agencies, the ASA tracks the developments of the annual appropriations deliberations, starting with the president’s budget request the first Monday of February. The links to blog entries and Amstat News articles follow:

Action Center

The ASA Board of Directors approved sending call-to-action emails to ASA members during its August 2009 meeting about urgent statistical and science policy issues. The ASA encourages its members to communicate with their elected officials in Washington on matters important to them and the statistical profession. There are several options for communicating to your member of Congress:

  1. Call their offices. You can find contact information on the House of Representatives website (or enter your ZIP code at www.house.gov/representatives/find) and Senate website.
  2. Use the contact feature on your senators’ and representative’s websites. See Option 1 for accessing these web pages.
  3. Request a meeting in a district/state office or in Washington: Meeting requests are typically handled through the member’s scheduler, whose name and contact information can be obtained by calling the member’s office. See “Keys to a Successful Hill Meeting.”

News and Highlights

The ASA is currently accepting applications for the ASA Science Policy Fellowship.

Congressional Briefing: Making Sure Kids Count in the Big Count, Census 2020: The ASA is pleased to sponsor this October 30 Congressional Briefing organized by the Population Association of America

Understanding Your Congressional District’s Economy & Workforce Using Federal Statistical Data: The ASA helped organize to organize a webinar for congressional staffers to help them better understand their state or Congressional District using data of the BEA, BLS, and Census.

Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Issues Final Report: ASA joint 120 organizations in support of the reports recommendations. See short blog entry summarizing report with first impressions.

ASA and several other science societies urge support of forensic science work at NIST: After the Administration proposed sharp cuts for NIST’s forensic science work in its FY18, the ASA joined with other societies to urge Congress to continue support for the vital programs.

ASA Mental Health Statistics Section (MHSS) submits comments on Power Calculations: In response to a National Institute of Mental Health request for information, the MHSS executive committee wrote a document with nine principles for power calculations to fulfill.

Policy Director’s Column

Policy Director’s Blog (Members Only)

Questions?

Steve Pierson
Director of Science Policy
732 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 302-1841
pierson@amstat.org