Tag Archives: Chemical & Engineering News

John Edward Porter, Chairman of Research!America, says Scientists Must Take on Broader Role in Advocacy

Hon. John Edward PorterThe chair of Research!America’s board of directors, John Edward Porter, tells Chemical & Engineering News that he began college with the aspiration of becoming an engineer or scientist. As fate would have it, he turned his focus instead to pursuing a law degree. He never lost his passion for science, though. That passion is evident in his efforts as a champion for research while in Congress and in his work with Research!America. Now he is charging scientists to take on a broader role in science advocacy.

In an era of flat-funded budgets and sequestration, Porter says it’s important for scientists to engage more with policy makers, most of whom are lawyers by trade.  Porter acknowledges that engaging with the public and taking on the role of an advocate may be very uncomfortable and unnatural to scientists, but it is a vital step to ensuring the U.S. maintains a position of world leadership. To be an effective advocate doesn’t mean scientists only have to ask for more money; advocacy and engagement can be accomplished through a range of activities. Continue reading →