19 May 2017

AAS Action Alert: Support for DOE-Science

Heather Bloemhard Vanderbilt University

Contact your senators and ask them to sign onto a "Dear Colleague Letter" to show their support for robust funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Science (DOE-Science).


This Action Alert requests that AAS members email or call their senators by 2 June 2017 to ask that they support increased funding for DOE-Science in FY 2018 by signing onto a "Dear Colleague Letter."

Instructions on whom to contact and how to do so are provided below. We've assembled sample communication templates, as well.


The Senate Energy and Water (E&W) Appropriations Subcommittee is responsible for funding the Department of Energy (as well as several other agencies). The subcommittee is beginning to plan for the FY 2018 appropriations process. Dear Colleague Letters are an opportunity for members not on the subcommittee to express their opinions. Senators Gardner (R-CO) and Coons (D-DE) are leading a "Dear Colleague Letter" that will be sent to the subcommittee. This letter expresses support for DOE-Science and the many programs it funds, which includes High Energy Physics (HEP) and Cosmic Frontier.

Please consider contacting your senators as soon as possible and certainly before 2 June, which is the deadline for senators to sign on. If you do contact your senator, we encourage you to convey your support for DOE-Science, and the important role it plays in your work.

What to Do

Links to template emails for you to customize and send to your senator using his or her contact form are below.

  1. Find your senators' contact information.
  2. Either…
    • customize the sample email provided and submit via the contact forms, or
    • customize the relevant sample phone script and call each of your senators using the phone numbers listed.

It is crucial that you customize your message. According to the Congress Foundation’s 2017 study on how Congress members respond to communications, individualized messages and phone calls are about an order of magnitude more influential than form emails (refer to their fig. 1).

You may also wish to tweet to your senator. Generally, members will have links on their websites if they are active on Twitter.

Thank you for your time.