Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy (CAPP) Strategic Plan
The AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy (CAPP) aims to support and develop policies that advance the astronomical sciences in the United States. They met in August 2014 for a strategic retreat, during which the below strategic plan was updated. The AAS Executive Committee approved the plan during its Leadership Retreat in October 2014.
Goal 1: Identify current events
- Periodic communication of relevant government actions
- The Executive office policy staff (“policy staff”) will take the lead to identify relevant current events, with CAPP in a supporting role.
- The policy staff or CAPP chair will invite guests to CAPP discussions, as needed.
- CAPP will act in an advisory role to Council and the Executive Committee on policy issues.
Goal 2: Share important issues
- Periodic discussion of important issues
- The policy staff, in consultation with other Executive Office staff, President, Council, and CAPP, will disseminate information to AAS members.
- The policy staff will vet action alerts through the CAPP Chair and President.
- CAPP will hold regular telecons.
- CAPP will have a policy breakfast for the committee at each AAS meeting.
- The policy staff and CAPP will propose and organize appropriate policy sessions at AAS meetings.
Goal 3: Advocate for the astronomical sciences
- Communication about the Decadal Surveys
- Communication on the broader importance of the astronomical sciences to the nation
- Development of proactive policy positions on AAS matters
- Promotion of policies that increase support for the astronomical sciences
- Support of policies that enhance the health of the profession
- CAPP will request plenary talks at AAS meetings and support Town Halls relating to the planning and subsequent results of the Decadal Surveys.
- CAPP will have a continuing role in supporting the recommendations of the Decadal Surveys.
- CAPP will promote new initiatives and provide leadership on policy issues.
- CAPP/policy staff will recommend signing coalition letters in support of relevant policies.
- CAPP/policy staff will recommend that the President send letters that align with AAS priorities to policymakers.
Goal 4: Defend astronomical sciences from adverse government or public actions
- Addressing significant problems relevant to the astronomical sciences
- When defensive action is required, CAPP will formulate a response, to be sent to the Executive Committee and/or Council for approval, and to the AAS membership, where appropriate.
Goal 5: Increase the influence of the AAS
- Engaging astronomers (including early career astronomers) every year in Congressional Visit Days and Executive branch visits
- Informing AAS community on policies
- Positioning AAS as a thought leader on relevant issues
- Policy staff/CAPP will announce opportunities and solicit applications to participate in Congressional Visits Day (CVD) each year.
- Policy staff will post information for AAS members about communicating with Congress.
- Policy staff/CAPP, in consultation with the Executive Committee, may issue Action Alerts about proposed policy actions that will affect the astronomical sciences.
- Policy staff, in consultation with CAPP, will occasionally take the lead in the scientific community on science policy issues with broad applicability.
- Policy staff, CAPP, and the President will occasionally write op-eds on science policy issues.