Policy advocacy is defined as active, covert, or inadvertent support of a particular policy or class of policies. Advocacy can include a variety of activities including, lobbying, litigation, public education, and forming relationships with parties of interest. Advocating for policy can take place from a local level to a state or federal government. For example, a local advocacy group in Brunswick, Georgia, Defenders of Wildlife, advocated for the passage of the H.R. 5552 Migratory Bird Protection Act during 2020 when rollbacks to the bill were introduced from the Trump Administration. At the state level, advocacy for policy can be a joint effort between advocacy groups. In the United States, advocacy groups around the nation planned joint efforts to get the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) signed into law in each of their respective states and in 2018, the bill was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott making it the tenth state to enforce this law.
Scientists as policy advocates
Scientists, engineers, and other technical experts can act as advocates for their personal policy preferences and is very common in local, state, and federal governments to find scientists and engineers working on policy advocacy. For example, many non-profit groups with a focus on science policy and advocacy in the United States like the National Science Policy Network (NSPN) or Engineers and Scientists Acting Locally (ESAL) provide networks for all career stage professionals in STEM fields to engage in policy advocacy together. Other ways that STEM professionals can engage in policy advocacy can be seen as expert witnesses and panel speakers in the United States congressional committee meetings in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, many of which oversee scientific and technological topics such as the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology or the Senate committee on Energy and Natural Resources. During these committee meetings, lawmakers will gather experts from both public and private sectors to provide insight into the issue at stake and why a policy should or should not be enacted.
- Lackey (2007)
- [email protected], WES WOLFE. "House committee passes migratory bird protections". The Brunswick News. Retrieved 2020-11-09.
- Peshek, Sam; A, Texas; Marketing, M. University; Communications. "Newly passed Farm Bill helps heirs' property owners achieve land rights". www.kbtx.com. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
- "Committees of the U.S. Congress". www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
- "U.S. Senate: The Role of Committees in the Legislative Process". www.senate.gov. Retrieved 2020-11-18.