Kelsie Krafton (AAS) -- Science and Space Policy in the Current Era


NOTE: This meeting is online only. Please subscribe to to obtain more information (if you are not in the seminar email list already). ABSTRACT: Context matters. As we go about educating, researching, communicating, and/or supporting science, we must always keep at the back of our mind the political context in which we are doing these things. We don’t live in bubbles or ivory towers. What happens in the scientific community is directly connected to what is happening in our nation and in our government. Our ability to be professional scientists depends in large part on public support and taxpayer money. How our society prioritizes science impacts the system for determining the priorities of our field. As we approach the 2020 presidential election and the astronomy decadal survey progresses, how is science faring on a national stage? In this talk, I will provide an overview of the current political environment for science and space policy, which current events are dominating policy discussions in the astronomical sciences, the role of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in such discussions, the role of the AAS in advocating for the astronomical sciences in Washington, and what individual scientists can do to effectively engage in the political process.