Science Policy and Advocacy

The ASA’s science policy activities raise the profile of statistics nationally. By advocating on behalf of its members and providing resources to policymakers, the ASA promotes the practice and profession of statistics. Take advantage of the resources listed here and keep up to date on science policy–related developments by checking this page frequently.

Advocating for ASA Members

The ASA advocates widely on behalf of its members, with an emphasis on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) budgets and the interests of the federal statistical agencies.

For the breadth of the ASA’s advocacy on behalf of its members, see Letters Signed/Sent and follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol.


Elevating the Profile of Statisticians in Policymaking

A central responsibility of the ASA’s science policy work is to raise the profile of statisticians in policymaking. The ASA does this through meetings with key policymakers or their staff, media outreach, and documents such as the following one-pagers, whitepapers, and links to more information:

Resources for Policymakers

The ASA provides resources for policymakers on a range of topics, from fundamental statistical concepts to how statistics can help advance science or inform a policy.

Keeping ASA Members Informed

An important ASA science policy activity is to keep ASA members apprised of current policy developments. This is done through various means, including personal interactions, the ASA’s monthly enewsletter, the ASA website, and the following resources:

Federal Budget Information

In addition to advocating for National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) budgets and the interests of the federal statistical agencies, the ASA tracks the developments of the annual appropriations deliberations, starting with the president’s budget request the first Monday of February. The links to blog entries and Amstat News articles follow:

Action Center

The ASA Board of Directors approved sending call-to-action emails to ASA members during its August 2009 meeting about urgent statistical and science policy issues. The ASA encourages its members to communicate with their elected officials in Washington on matters important to them and the statistical profession. There are several options for communicating to your member of Congress:

  1. Call their offices. You can find contact information on the House of Representatives website (or enter your ZIP code at and Senate website.
  2. Use the contact feature on your senators’ and representative’s websites. See Option 1 for accessing these web pages.
  3. Request a meeting in a district/state office or in Washington: Meeting requests are typically handled through the member’s scheduler, whose name and contact information can be obtained by calling the member’s office. See “Keys to a Successful Hill Meeting.”

News and Highlights

ASA urges more integration of statistics in NIH draft Data Science Strategic Plan to achieve better science: The ASA submitted comments to an NIH request for information on its data science draft strategy. Read more in this news item: A Strategic Plan for Biomedical Research—Without Statistics?

FY18 Omnibus Has Good News, Bad News for research funding and federal statistical agencies: Census, NIH, and NSF among big winners. Read more here.

ASA Releases Statement on Census Citizenship Question: In response to Commerce Secretary Ross’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 decennial census, ASA Board expresses its profound disappointment.

Efforts to Dismantle Puerto Rico Statistics Agency Resume: The ASA has been working to oppose this proposal in many ways, including a letter, a petition, and a press release. Read these March 8 and March 22 updates.

ASA President writes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Forensic Science: President Lisa LaVange wrote to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein March 21 expressing concern for lack of engagement with scientific community in new policies.

The ASA organizes petition in support of former Greek chief statistician, his colleagues being prosecuted in Greece: More than 1,130 individuals and 46 organizations have signed the statement as of April 23. Read more here. Add your support:

Policy Director’s Column

Policy Director’s Blog (Members Only)


Steve Pierson
Director of Science Policy
732 North Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 302-1841