It’s no joke – Science for Georgia joined AAAS’s Local Science Engagement Network (LSEN) on April 1st.
The LSEN is a partnership of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Science for Georgia. LSEN aims to elevate the voice of science and the use of evidence in civic society and policy discussion. LSEN will recruit cohorts of local science advocates; provide training and guidance in science communication, civic engagement and effective advocacy; engage with local decision-makers on how science can inform the deliberative process (in policy, program and practice); and develop locally relevant content to help facilitate these engagements.
Currently, there are two other groups in the LSEN: The Missouri Science and Technology (MOST) Policy Initiative and the Colorado LSEN. As this engagement network grows, we will learn from each other, yet remain locally focused to science initiatives that matter in our home states.
The Science for Georgia LSEN partnership will initially focus on the Environmental Impacts on Poverty. Poor environmental quality is a contributing factor to trapping people into the poverty cycle.
In Georgia, approximately 1.2M families live in poverty, the majority of which live in rural areas with little access to educational and health resources. This topic has the potential to involve scientists from many different disciplines to provide scientific input: biologists and chemists on the physical impacts, economists on the fiscal impacts, medical doctors on the health effects, sociologists on best-practices in applying social change, engineers on potential solutions.
Through this outreach, we can build a coalition where scientists, communities, and policymakers come together to work toward meaningful solutions that are made together by all stakeholders. This initial focus will provide an example and lessons learned for continued, meaningful, pragmatic, science utilization in policy.
About Science for Georgia
If you are visiting us for the first time, we encourage you to look around our site. Science for Georgia works to engage scientists and the community in productive dialogue, with a mission to improve communication among scientists and the public, increase public engagement with science, and advocate for the responsible use of science in public policy. We are a catalyst for change to bridge the divide between scientists, the public, private sector, press, and policymakers.
Science for Georgia formed in 2017 when it became apparent there was a local desire to advocate effectively for science. Three barriers to entry were identified: 1) few professional incentives 2) little training or guidance on how to advocate, and 3) no single organization to speak for the aggregate science community.
Science for Georgia is working to overcome these barriers to entry, providing advocacy and communication training, low-stress venues to get scientists talking to the public, and listening to the concerns of the science community. By providing training, and by understanding concerns, we can effectively work together to advocate for the biggest needs.