Initiatives

Science Policy and Advocacy

Our strategic, member-centric approach to advocacy produces results that advance the physics community's public policy needs and priorities.
Make your voice heard
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APS is the voice for physics and the physics community in Washington, DC. We work directly with elected officials and legislative staff on issues important to our members and the physics community, while facilitating communication between physicists, the public, and the government.

Reports and news

APS publishes reports and studies to provide compelling information and analysis on issues important to the physics community that can inform science policy. Through our publications, such as APS News, we also provide updates and opportunities for physicists to discuss policy issues.

Combining data-forward reports and studies with a strong network of APS member advocates, APS influences federal legislation and Executive Branch actions that impact physicists and the scientific community.

Discover news, statements, announcements, press releases, commentary and more on public policy and advocacy issues impacting the physics community.

Science policy legislative priorities

APS Statements anchor all of our policy activities and priorities. These statements are adopted as part of a process that gathers input from APS members and leaders.

View APS statements

2024 policy priorities

Each year, APS releases our federal, legislative priorities for Congressional Visits Day, part of the Annual Leadership Meeting. At this yearly event, APS leaders meet with their representatives in Congress to advocate on behalf of the APS community. This event kicks off our legislative activities for the year.

Discover APS's 2024 legislative policy priorities

Advocacy resources

Explore our tools to help you be an effective advocate on science policy and other issues you care about.

Develop an effective advocacy plan for a policy issue you want to take action on, including identifying relevant actors and allies.

Preparation and purpose are both key to a successful meeting with a policymaker’s office.

APS advocacy wins in 2023

In 2023, APS members took more than 7,000 actions and contacted members of Congress.

Noyce scholars program

Thanks to over 100 of our advocates, last year, we continued our work to expand and improve the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Noyce Scholars Program, key to solving the nationwide deficit of skilled K-12 STEM teachers. Dozens of APS members sent letters and met with Congress, advocating for improvements to this program.

Building on this momentum, APS worked closely with the offices of Sen. Peters and Rep. Lucas to encourage NSF to investigate the impact that low stipends and loan repayment conditions have on recruitment and retention of K-12 teacher trainees. We even drafted legislation with the long-term goal of expanding a fine-tuned version of the program. As a result, NSF has decided to start a third-party assessment of the Noyce Scholars program, the first since the program’s inception. Both Sen. Peters’ office, Rep. Lucas’ office, and APS are monitoring NSF’s progress, and will continue to partner to support and enhance the NSF Noyce program.

Methane leak data repository established

We appreciate the work of our over 150 advocates on this issue! Since 2022, we’ve made significant progress towards the policy recommendations of the joint APS/Optica report titled “Monitoring Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations,” which are vital to addressing climate change. APS members made hundreds of connections with Congress to advocate for policies to reduce emissions of this high-impact greenhouse gas.

In 2023, APS staff held briefings with congressional staff and submitted public comments to the EPA to advance the report’s recommendations. Thanks to these cumulative efforts, the 2023 EPA's Final Rule for Oil and Natural Gas Operation addresses four of the report, including the critical step of establishing a centralized repository of methane observations. Furthermore, APS staff worked closely with Rep. Casten's office to draft legislation that will address two of the remaining recommendations of the report, bringing us even closer to full enactment.

LGBTQI+ data collection tested at NSF

In 2023, more than 300 APS members wrote to Congress in support of the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, which would mandate important first steps towards advancing LGBTQ+ representation in physics. This bill takes action on one of the goals of the 2016 LGBT Climate in Physics report: including LGBT demographics in federal surveys. However, this change doesn’t require legislation; federal agencies could also decide to directly implement this policy. Behind the scenes, APS staff both advocated for legislative solutions and direct actions from federal science agencies. In a first indicator of progress, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has agreed to trial anonymous LGBTQI+ data collection in some of their surveys.

APS Government Affairs staff

We encourage APS members, policy makers, and the public to contact us to learn more about our current and past policy and advocacy work, including our past policy priorities.

Contact the APS Government Affairs team

Francis Slakey

Chief External Affairs Officer

Mark Elsesser

Director of Public Affairs

Charlotte Selton

Member Advocacy Senior Associate

Julie Davis

Federal Relations Senior Associate

Yewande Lewis

Operations Administrator

Related

APS members can keep up with science policy through APS Science Policy Action Alerts. Log in to your APS account to get started.

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APS statements articulate our enduring positions on topics relevant to the physics community and guide our activities, including authorizing our federal advocacy efforts.

Make your voice heard as an advocate for science by writing to your representatives in Washington.

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