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. Interested in being part of the ASA science policy team? Consider the ASA science policy fellow position.

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 Twitter.

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 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

ASA comments on Supplemental to Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.

Latest Count On Stats newsletter covers how federal statistical agencies are adjusting operations and seeking to inform impacts of Covid-19.

Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss reports on National Center for Education Statistics Challenges: Understaffing threatens work at key U.S. education statistics agency, experts say.

ASA releases its reauthorization priorities for the National Center for Education Statistics.

ASA signs letter to President Trump urging his administration “maintain public health guided social distancing efforts nationwide to flatten the curve of COVID-19 infections until medical evidence indicates that it is safe to relax them and thank you for extending the current guidelines to April 30.

ASA joins with American Educational Research Association, former National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) commissioners, and former Chief Statisticians of the United States on letter to Congress urging more staff, funding, and autonomy for NCES.

FY20 Budget Brings Increases for NIH, Select Statistical Agencies

Appeal Hearing Delayed for Greece’s Andreas Georgiou

Meet Emilda B. Rivers, Director of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Meet Sylva Collins, Director of the Office of Biostatistics, US Food and Drug Administration

Meet William Beach, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Meet Shawn Bucholtz, Director of HUD Housing and Demographic Analysis

ASA science policy staff share document explaining National Center for Education Statistics staffing crisis.

Twelve Years of ASA Science Policy: Highlighting the Scope and Breadth


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