With over 40 years specializing in federal research advocacy, April Burke, Founder of Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, has witnessed the swing of the political pendulum a time or two. April has also seen the research community through tremendous periods of growth and fiscal constraint and now entering a period that had no roadmap.
What is certain, is that regardless of the economic climate, research has been and will continue to be a fundamental piece of the US investment strategy—both for the good it can do, but also the global power it yields. However, the research community cannot assume it will be “taken care of” when the fog of the pandemic is lifted. Instead the plant science community must be vocal and united in the message that it is a matter of when, not if, the next crisis surfaces and that global challenges of resource scarcity, climate change, energy, and new medical treatments must include comprehensive plant science investment as part of our arsenal.
April will explore with Plant Biology 2020 participants the challenges of effective advocacy for federal funding and support for plant science research. Specifically, April will address: • The new world the federal research enterprise is entering. • How does science skepticism affect advocacy and what we can do about it? • How does the generational divide regarding environmental science and climate change affect our advocacy? • How can we manage the public relations aspects of industry relationships? • What is our answer to the demand for scientific metrics from public policy makers? • Are coalitions still useful? If yes, should they be expanded? • Do we need political involvement or is that a trap?
Lewis-Burke is a leading advocacy and consulting firm in Washington representing universities, research organizations, and scientific societies, more information about April and Lewis-Burke can be found at: www.lewis-burke.com.