The Congressional Liaison Committee of the Coalition for the Life Sciences (CLS) was established in 1992 as a way to involve and take advantage of the energy and influence of the full memberships of the participating societies and science citizens across the country.

The CLC carries out three main activities:

  • An alert system to call scientists’ attention to important pending legislative or other action so that they can make their feelings known to their elected Representatives.
  • A personal visit program which encourages scientists to establish a substantive relationship with their Representatives and staffs by arranging and providing support for visits in the Member’s district office or in the laboratory of the scientist.
  • Motivation and support of scientists to submit opinion pieces advocating for federal support of biomedical research to their local newspapers, emphasizing the contributions of biomedical research to the local community.

CLC members advocate by:

  • Writing letters to their Members of Congress.
  • Authoring opinion pieces for the local news media.
  • Building local support for biomedical research by meeting with community groups.
  • Visiting their Representatives and/or staff in local districts or Washington, D.C.

CLS staff supports your efforts through:

  • Issue alerts, which provide the names and addresses of relevant policy makers. These alerts also include talking points and relevant background information.
  • Writing sample letters and opinion pieces for placement in the local media.
  • Organizing visits to Washington for scientists to meet with their Member of Congress.
  • Arranging a visit for you with your Member of Congress in your local Congressional district.
  • Providing staff support on an individual basis to answer questions, provide information and facilitate your involvement with all of these tasks.

Most scientists have little experience interacting with their elected officials and would prefer to leave such tasks to others. But scientists have a responsibility to use their voice as constituents to educate lawmakers on sound science policy. There is real power in numbers; thus we volunteer our time and we hope you will yours.

The CLC is operated by the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Genetics Society of America, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, and the Society for Neuroscience.