Scientists in the United States are increasingly participating in various forms of activism and political engagement, especially around issues affecting science. Scientists – including those who receive federal funding or grants – are entitled to engage in this kind of advocacy. However, scientists need to be aware of the restrictions placed on these activities by anti-lobbying laws, which are designed to prevent misuse of federal funds by barring the use of federal funds to attempt to influence Congress or government officials on specific issues, including using grant funds for lobbying-related travel expenses.
In this webinar, attorneys from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund will discuss what falls under the definition of “lobbying” and how federally-funded scientists can be politically active without violating anti-lobbying laws; we’ll also provide examples of restricted and permissible activities. This is essential knowledge for all scientists and is particularly relevant for those planning advocacy activities in Washington D.C. around their attendance at the AGU Fall Meeting.