It has been challenging for all of us to find creative ways to engage with our communities during this time of social distancing. While some conferences and events have moved online, plenty of others have simply had to be cancelled. The annual research day at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which has been gaining in attendance of state legislators, was no exception. In liu of the event, virtual or physical, the Science Policy Advocacy Grouop (SPAG) at UNC-Chapel Hill put together their own advocacy video to urge their legislators' continued support for science at all levels. Spearheaded by graduate students David Gorelick and Benjamin Roberts the team based their video on one from the American Geophysical Union, but with their very own UNC SPAG twist. In barely two and a half minutes they clearly articulate why scientific funding is so critical, both nationally and at home in North Carolina. In addition to sharing this message over Twitter and on YouTube the team has emailed this video message directly to many of their own representatives, so far with some positive replies!
SPAG was started as a forum for graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and staff to advocate for issues revolving around science policy. They regularly engage local and federal legislators and coordinate outreach focused on improving communication between scientists and the general public. From volunteering to teach children about science and technology to training other scientists about the policy process, they provide a community of support for Science Policy in all it's shapes at UNC-Chapel Hill. Check out their website or follow them on twitter to learn more!