Explore Science Policy at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting

29 November 2012
AGU Science Policy Alert 12-49

The 2012 AGU Fall Meeting is packed with opportunities to join the discussion about important science policy issues.  In a world of deep budget cuts, legal challenges to scientists’ work, and continued inaction on climate change, giving scientists a bigger voice in the policymaking process has never been more important.  This year’s AGU Public Affairs events give you the tools you need to communicate science to Congress, respond to legal
pressure, and even work with decision makers as an AGU Congressional Science Fellow.

There will also be an opportunity to take action to support geoscience research even before you leave the conference.  AGU has written a letter to Congress asking legislators to prevent sequestration, the deep budget cuts that will go into effect in January unless policymakers reach an agreement on the federal budget.  The White House Office of Management and Budget estimates that sequestration would cut non-defense federal scientific research funding at agencies such as DOE, NSF, NASA, NOAA, USGS, and NIST byapproximately 8.2%, or almost $22 billion over the next five years.  Please consider signing the letter to support AGU’s efforts to prevent this threat to scientific innovation and discovery.
Other event highlights include:

Legal Duties to Preserve and Disclose Scientific Data and Personal Communications
At this brown bag lunch, Michael Gerrard, Director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, will discuss which documents scientists must disclose and to whom.  From email and social media posts to raw data and peer review comments, Michael will help participants navigate the increasing legal pressure scientists face today.
When: Monday, 3 December (12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Salon 10

AGU Position Statements: Announcing New Submission and Review Methods
All are welcome at this Town Hall event to discuss the purpose of AGU position statements and to explain the updated review procedures and online submission process.
When: Monday, 3 December (6:15 p.m. -7:15 p.m.)
Where: Moscone West, Room 2007

How to be a Congressional Science Fellow or a Mass Media Fellow Luncheon Workshop
Interested in working as a science expert for a member of Congress or contributing to a mass media outlet as a science journalist?  Learn more about AGU’s prestigious Congressional Science Fellowship program andMass Media Fellowship at this event.  Past fellows will speak about their experiences and how to apply. If you are unable to attend this event, stop by the AGU Marketplace Tuesday to Thursday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to learn more. 
When: Tuesday, 4 December (12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate B

The Law for Government Scientists
Join us for a brown bag lunch with Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  Jeff leads PEER in helping government researchers navigate the legal issues facing federal scientists, and he will be on hand to discuss these challenges and answer your questions.
When: Tuesday, 4 December (12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Salon 10

Global Environmental Change/Societal Impacts and Policy Sciences Joint Business Meeting and Reception
This section and focus group meeting allows members to learn about recent developments and engage with leaders and colleagues in an informal setting.
When: Tuesday, 4 December (6:30 p.m. -8:00 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Salon 8

An Inside Look at the Michael Mann Case
Peter Fontaine, counsel to Michael Mann and a leader of Cozen O’Connor’s Brownfield Development and Climate Change practices, will join us for a brown bag lunch to speak about recent court cases affecting researchers and answer your questions about scientists and the law.
When: Wednesday, 5 December (12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.)
Where: Moscone South: Mezzanine- Room 226

Communicating with Congress Workshop
In this luncheon workshop, participants will learn how to communicate effectively with their legislators on issues from supporting scientific research to countering climate change.  Whether you have never contacted your Congressperson or are a seasoned veteran in engaging with decision makers, speakers will help you learn how to give science a greater voice in the policymaking process.
When: Wednesday, 5 December (12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.)
Where: San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate B

One-on-One Availability with an Attorney 
Have a question about how the law affects scientists in general or your research team specifically?  Sign up for a private appointment with an attorney for expert advice on the intersection of science and legal issues.
When: Daily, 3-5 December (8:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m.)
Where: Moscone South: Mezzanine- Room 264

For more information about these and other opportunities, search for specific events or explore AGU’scomplete program.  AGU also has two new tools this year to help you make the most of your time at Fall Meeting.  Be sure to download the Android, iPhone and Blackberry compatible 2012 AGU Fall Meeting Mobile App, which will help you organize your time, locate exhibitors, and stay plugged into social media and real time communications about Fall Meeting.  To start connecting with other researchers before December, join the2012 Fall Meeting Community, a social networking site that will allow you to build a profile, join focus groups, post on discussion boards, and meet other participants.  See you in San Francisco!