The AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy 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.