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AAAS representative to deliver Nov. 6 talk on federal funding for science

October 23, 2017

Erin Heath

Erin Heath, associate director of government relations for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), will visit campus next month to talk about federal funding for scientific research.

Her presentation, which is part of NIU’s PI Academy Professional Development series, will be held from 3-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in room 200 of LaTourette Hall. The event is open to the public and will be of high interest to faculty, students and administrators interested in federal research funding and policy priorities.

“Erin Heath will bring great depth of experience and a voice directly from the Washington, D.C.-based scientific society to campus to discuss national science policy under the current administration and Congress,” said Dara Little, NIU’s assistant vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs Administration.

“Erin will talk about the federal budgeting process and the negotiations that often occur between Congress and the President to ultimately fund federal programs, including grant programs,” Little added. “She is extremely knowledgeable about science policy, and as a former journalist, she is skilled at media training and outreach.”

The talk will also highlight current events influencing the federal research and development landscape, and how program funding shifts under different administrations. NIU Director of Federal Relations Anna Quider, who is based in Washington, D.C., will join Heath to inform participants about advocacy efforts by NIU at the national level to support science funding and how they can engage directly in these policy discussions.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. The AAAS Office of Government Relations provides timely, objective information on science and technology issues to lawmakers, and it assists scientists in understanding and getting involved in the policy process.

Heath serves as AAAS’s liaison to state and local science education advocates. She also co-chairs the Coalition for National Science Funding, the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy Coalition and the Golden Goose Awards, while also heading the selection committee for the AAAS Science and Technology Congressional Fellowships.