The Public Policy team at the American Astronomical Society directs several programs for astronomers interested in getting involved in public policy in a variety of ways.

Follow the links below to learn more about these programs.

Congressional Visits Days

Every year the AAS brings volunteers to Washington, DC, to advocate for federal support of science with their members of Congress during Congressional Visits Days (CVD). This is part of a coordinated effort to gather scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and technology executives in the nation’s capital to raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and technology. Sign ups for are currently closed. For information about opportunities in 2018, please check back in late 2017.

Policy Talks

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


The AAS Public Policy team makes every effort to regularly communicate with the AAS membership and with policymakers. Occasionally these efforts take the form of formal events.

Local Visits

A local visit with your member of Congress is when you schedule an appointment with him or her during Congressional recess when they are back in their state. Local visits with your member of Congress can have a more profound impact than visiting them at Capitol Hill. The AAS Public Policy team can remotely support your local visits.

AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering

The AAS sponsors 1 student to participate in the AAAS CASE Workshop--a 3.5-day program in DC to learn about Congress, the federal budget process, and effective science communication. The most recent workshop was 17-20 April 2016. Applications for the next workshop will be accepted starting in early 2017.

John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship

The John Bahcall Public Policy Fellowship was created in 2006 to provide an opportunity for early career astronomers to gain experience in the world of science policy and serves to augment the policy advocacy programs of the society. The Bahcall Fellowship is currently a one-year postdoctoral level appointment, renewable for a second year. The application form is now closed.