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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.

Keep Informed

Our policy blog keeps you informed on all AAS policy initiatives and updates.

Anyone Can Get Involved

Are you passionate about the future of astronomical research? Consider getting involved in our advocacy efforts and make your voice heard!

Get involved


Joel Parriott
Director of Public Policy
(On leave of absence until 2023)
Bethany Johns
Bethany Johns
Deputy Director Public Policy
Interim Acting Director
Julie Davis
John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow
202-328-2010 x113

Policy Talks

Interested in hearing about science policy from your AAS Executive Office staff? The AAS will share expenses for a member of our policy staff to come out for a colloquium or more informal talk about science policy and our AAS advocacy efforts.