Contact the Science Government Relations Office
to learn more about the campaign and federal
funding issues at email@example.com or
Hurt (R-Va.) in her lab at the University of Virginia. She showed
him the research she’s doing on how cognitive biases contribute
to anxiety. Hurt talked to many members of the research team
and support staff, which helped him see that “it really takes a
village to do research,” Teachman says.
Not only did the experience teach the congressman more
about the work psychological scientists do, but it also provided
Teachman’s students with a chance to share their work.
“The onus is on us to explain why research is important to
public health and how we use tax dollars,” she says. “We can’t
expect to sit in our labs and hope others will do it. Scientists
have a huge role to play.”
Gary Dunbar, PhD, of Central Michigan University (CMU),
invited Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to visit the school’s
neuroscience laboratories in October.
“That evening she commented during a stump speech on
how impressed she was with the level and quality of research
the neuroscience program at CMU was conducting and that
this was really an eye-opener for her to learn of the wonderful,
potentially life-saving research being conducted right here in
her own backyard,” he says.
“We made inroads to discussing important issues, like
support for neuroscience and behavioral research and resisting
the pressure to end or curtail use of animal research that is
critically needed to develop new therapies.”
Stand for Science also helps psychologists explain what
psychological research is and why it matters to politicians who
have different levels of scientific understanding, Kelly says.
“Some are supportive of science but don’t consider psychology
to be a full-fledged science like chemistry or physics. In fact, some
are quite antagonistic and don’t consider the behavioral and social
sciences to be worthy of federal funding at all, especially in times
of limited funding,” she says.
“Our job is to enhance the understanding of our science
among members of Congress. Our science is people doing PTSD
work with veterans or ADHD research for your child or so
your grandmother can get treatment for dementia. There are
many reasons why studying how people behave is going to be
something someone on the Hill cares about.” n
California State University, San Bernardino, psychologist Dr. Cynthia Crawford — second from left with undergraduates Mirella
Hernandez and Kristi Shawhan and graduate student Lace Riggs — gives U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) a tour of the university’s
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences lab in February. Crawford and her students discussed the importance of federally funded
student development programs for underrepresented and low-income students.