In conjunction with ESA’s policy-focused 2023 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, in November, ESA organized a large-scale Capitol Hill Day on November 9 with 11 university groups participating to visit Congressional offices and advocate for insect science. UW-Madison Entomology was represented by Dr. Emily Bick (second from right, front row) and her student Dev Mehrotra (second from right, back row).
To prepare, ESA led an online training in October to guide participants on what to research ahead of their meetings and how to structure narratives about the importance of their work for a Congressional audience. They also participated in an in-person workshop the afternoon before the Hill Day. On the day of visits, ESA, with assistance from Western Skies Strategies, organized morning meetings with the Senate and House Agricultural Committee staff, both majority and minority, to discuss the Farm Bill. In the afternoon, the full group of nearly four dozen entomologists divided into university subgroups and met with their Senate and House Representative offices. The groups then reunited for an evening reception in the Senate Russell Building.
The participating entomologists told legislators and staff about their work on campus and how it connects to state and district level priorities. They also spoke about new and emerging technologies and opportunities in everything from pollinator health to vector-management strategies. And they heard from Congressional staff about what their elected officials perceive to be the largest challenges facing constituents.
It was a long, full day for everyone who participated—after four days at the Annual Meeting, no less—but the bus ride back to National Harbor was filled with enthusiastic chatter about how to take what they had learned and apply it in the future. ESA is thankful to all the entomology department leadership and individual members that participated and helped make the day so successful!
Adapted from the December 2023 issue of ESA’s Science Policy News newsletter.This article was posted in News and tagged Emily Bick.