“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”-- Margaret Mead
The American Society for Nutrition represents nearly 5,000 individuals dedicated to nutrition science and research. Each and every member can play a valuable role in advancing the Society's public policy agenda, and ASN encourages your involvement! Every legislative session, policymakers make decisions that shape the nutrition landscape and may impact you, your research, your employer, and your community, region, or state. It's critical that nutrition researchers get involved in public policy to ensure that policymakers understand how nutrition research influences global health and economies, and how legislative and regulatory policies affect the ability of nutrition researchers to sucessfully conduct research that will have a positive impact on public health. As a constituent and nutrition scientist, you can provide valuable input to help guide decision making and make a difference!
2012-13 ASN President Dr. Teresa A. Davis; Sarah Ohlhorst, Director of Government Relations; and Jennifer McCandless, 2013 ASN intern; conduct Congressional visits at Rayburn House Office Building
Make A Difference
ASN occasionally issues legislative “action” alerts related to pressing issues before Congress affecting nutrition science and research. These alerts enable ASN members to send a personalized message to their members of Congress and make their voice heard in Washington.
At the ASN Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting, the Honorable John Edward Porter, former member of Congress and Chair of Research!America, challenged nutrition scientists to act outside their comfort zones and get involved by taking the following actions:
- Familiarize yourself with your senators' and representative's positions on nutrition and science issues. As a constituent, it it your right to communicate regularly with them on issues of importance to you. Consider inviting them and their staff to visit your lab or clinical center to see how taxpayer dollars are spent in the state/district.
- Continue to identify and recommend nutrition scientists to serve on National Academies of Science Committees and Advisory Boards, as well as federal advisory boards and committees.
- Be bipartisan.
- Less than 3% of members of Congress have any science background. As an individual scientist and/or practitioner, decide which candidate you would like to support. Introduce yourself to the campaign and tell them you would like to advise the candidate on food and nutrition science issues. This is important not only with the candidates running for President, but also for those running for Congress and the state legislatures.
- Consider running for office yourself!
ASN's Public Policy Committee wants to hear from you. If you have an issue that you believe the Society should consider within its advocacy program or any questions, please contact Sarah D. Ohlhorst, M.S., R.D., Director of Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.