Why Public Policy Is Important
Public policy is a catchall phrase that includes actions of and interactions with both Congress and the Executive branch.
The government has other impacts on astronomy beyond providing funds for research and research facilities. Policies on education, such as stipend levels allowed under research grants, or student loan tax credits are set by the government. Policies on immigration and visas affect international students and scientific collaborations. Regulations, or lack thereof, can wreak havoc on access to dark and quiet skies for science.The possibilities for both good and bad actions by government at all levels are tremendous.
The Society’s Role in Public Policy
Enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe doesn’t come automatically. The AAS works hard to write resolutions, policy statements, and sign-on letters that ensure research-based policies are amplified and accepted on a national scale. We develop advocacy material to promote and protect the astronomical sciences. These ventures are based on our documented policy positions.