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Who we are
The UCS Science Network is an inclusive community of more than 25,000 scientists, engineers, economists, public health specialists, and other experts across the country working to educate the public and inform decisions critical to our health, safety, and environment.
We call on our Science Network members to help us respond to a broad range of attacks on science, and help us build support for science-based decision making. Whether it’s speaking with the media, delivering testimony and public comments, exposing misinformation, or building relationships with their legislators’ offices—Science Network members are stepping up and bringing their expertise to the policy making process.
The Science Network embraces the full diversity of scientists and their perspectives. Read more about diversity, inclusion, and equity in the Science Network.
From Palm Oil to Cheetah Conservation, How Varsha Vijay Produces Actionable Science
“I have tried to develop a better understanding of what policy makers and stakeholders want to know, so I can better use my expertise and findings to comment on policy. As an early career scientist, being part of the UCS Science Network has helped me develop my outreach skills and given me connections to a diverse community of scientists with similar goals. I feel inspired to be part of a larger movement of scientists in environmental fields that have recognized the importance of communication and public engagement.”
Join the Science Network
Become one of the thousands of experts who are helping UCS make a difference!
Who can join?
The UCS Science Network is intended for scientists, engineers, health professionals, and economists with (or working towards) an advanced degree. (Review the eligibility requirements.) If you don’t fall into any of those categories, and you want to help UCS make a difference, we encourage you to join the UCS Action Network.
Early career scientists
If your scientific career is just beginning, the Science Network offers opportunities to get involved, networking events on science and policy careers, and trainings to build your strength as a science communicator and advocate.
Learn more about opportunities for early career scientists>
Science Network stories
Put your expertise to work
Through the Science Network, you can put your expertise to work in a range of different ways depending on your interests and capacity. We offer a number of different programs to empower Science Network members to fully explore their potential as advocates and constituents.
Watchdog for Science
We need to be watchdogs to make sure science doesn’t get silenced or sidelined by government officials or special interests. Learn how to watchdog for science.
Science for the Public Good Fund
Apply for a microgrant to defend the role of science in public policy in your community and address local impacts, and learn about what others have done through the fund. Learn more.
Science Network Mentor Program
This unique program pairs early career scientist advocates with mentors experienced in science advocacy to work together on a science policy or advocacy project. Read about how to join the mentor program.
Explore a range of ways to get involved
Science Network members play a critical role in UCS campaigns. Learn about urgent opportunities to contribute to our work.
Science Network members are using their expertise to make a difference—speaking to the media, delivering testimony, signing on to expert letters to elected officials, conducting research and environmental impact assessments, and serving on federal advisory committees. Here are some recent examples of Science Network members having a positive impact:
Victory: Defending Science in the Budget
UCS partnered with 500 Women Scientists, RISE Stronger, and Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) for an op-ed campaign around science funding in the federal budget. Scientists from around the country drafted and edited each other’s op-eds about the importance of supporting funding for federal research, with compelling stories about the local economic benefits, the critical role science plays in public health and safety protections, and how science and technology keep our country safe. In all we published 15 op-eds in papers around the country.
Victory: Sam Clovis’s Withdrawal from USDA Chief Scientist Post
When President Trump nominated Sam Clovis – a conservative talk show host with no scientific experience and a history of making racist and homophobic comments -- to be the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, scientists were the ones leading the opposition. With support from UCS, more than 3,100 members of the Science Network across the country signed a letter calling on the Senate Agriculture Committee to reject his nomination. Scientists in key states met with their legislators, delivered state-specific petitions, and wrote letters to the editor making the case against Clovis, forcing the Senate to indefinitely delay his nomination hearing. After news broke of Clovis’ alleged involvement in the 2016 Trump campaign’s Russia connections, he withdrew his nomination on November 2, and we declared a victory for science.
Defending Science in Tennessee
Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt moved to open a loophole that would fit shells of new trucks onto old dirty engines (zombie trucks).
The faculty at Tennessee Technical University (TTU), where the shoddy industry-funded study defending these zombie trucks was conducted, rallied to demand transparency and oversight from their president and demanded he withdraw this faulty study. Through social media, blogs, and media coverage, Science Network members at TTU are amplifying the corruption behind and the health impacts of this Zombie Truck loophole.
Calling Out Government Censorship of Science
Science Network members and Science Champions pushed Secretary Azar at the Department of Health and Human Services to release a toxic chemical study (on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS) that the EPA and other political officials within the administration attempted to suppress. Thanks to a range of advocacy tactics, including Freedom of Information Act requests, coalition work, Hill-based conversations, UCS analysis, and 18,000 messages to Congress, this study was eventually released.
Whether you're an experienced scientist–advocate, or an early career scientist taking your first steps into advocacy, the Science Network can help you increase your impact.
Our Science in Action Toolkit offers hands-on guides and resources for taking local action to push back on threats to science, and push for science-informed solutions.
Visit these pages for quick videos, webinars, and other tools to strengthen your skills in the fundamental elements of effective science advocacy:
Engaging effectively with journalists and the media takes practice, but is an important science communication skill to master. These resources, templates, and trainings provide guidance on how to get started and gain more experience. Learn more >
Scientists have a tremendous opportunity to improve access to and understanding of technical information in communities, leading to better solutions. Browse our resources on working with communities to learn about best practices for respectful, effective engagement. Learn more >
Bringing science to the policy making process is crucial to our democracy—but facts alone often aren’t enough. Learn ways to effectively advocate for science by engaging with legislators. Learn more >
Communicating effectively to the public, media, and policy makers is more important than ever. The UCS communication toolkit offers tips, strategies, and best practices to talk to skeptical audiences, to get your stories in local media, and to sharpen your message for decisionmakers. Learn more >