As we all know, the divisive 2016 presidential election elicited a broad range of emotions and opinions, including within the ASPB community. Ultimately, President-elect Trump achieved his victory with strong support from rural America, including communities and industries with which plant scientists are closely aligned.
Clearly, plant science will continue to have an essential role to play in tackling the global challenges of sustainably providing for the food, fuel, fiber, and other plant-based product needs of a growing world population. Moving forward, ASPB’s highest priority must be to ensure that the new administration understands that continued investments in plant science research and education are critical means of encouraging rural economic growth; addressing global challenges; and nurturing the next generation of scientists, entrepreneurs, and world leaders.
As it would with any new presidential administration, ASPB will seek to work constructively with President-elect Trump and his team to meet these challenges and to ensure the health and vitality of the nation’s research enterprise. While working with the new administration, ASPB will stay true to the core values of the Society, and it will, at all times, seek to engage in evidence-based dialogue.
With a new Congress and a new administration in the White House, ASPB members will also need to increase their engagement in the policy-making process. Although the federal science agencies, ASPB leadership, and the advocacy communities will work very hard to educate the new administration and Congress, we need your help to share the exciting results that are being generated from federally-supported research. This means regularly engaging with your elected officials at all levels to educate them about the importance of plant science, answering our calls to action, and urging your colleagues to do the same.
It is only through regular and repeated outreach that we will see progress for our field and the scientific community more generally. For additional information about ASPB advocacy, please visit the policy section on our blog. Also, stay engaged by following ASPB on Facebook and on Twitter. And if you are interested in engaging with your elected officials, please do not hesitate to contact ASPB director of legislative and public affairs, Tyrone Spady, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sally A. Mackenzie