FBPCS, which is a member of CNSF, invited HFES, which is a member of FBPCS, to participate in an NSF research exhibit in D.C. Is that as easy to follow as ABC?
I was accompanied by one of my graduate students, Anne McLaughlin, and HFES President Betty Sanders also joined us there. I would like to take you through our day. Our goal was to spread the word about human factors and ergonomics to members of Congress and their staff.
Thanks to the coordination and support of Federation Executive Director Barb
Wanchisen and Public Policy Analyst Jill Egeth, I believe we were successful. In the morning, we went to the Federation office for a strategy session with Jill. She had scheduled what are colloquially referred to as “Hill visits” for us, meetings with congressional staff members on Capitol Hill. Jill had prepared materials about the Federation and about the coalition, and we had prepared materials about HF/E research.
We learned that it is important to (a) schedule meetings with staffers in advance; (b) plan a lot of extra time because these extremely busy people are often behind schedule; (c) prepare very brief, one-page overviews to use for discussion and to leave with the staffers; and (d) have a focused message for the meeting. In our case, our message was to invite members of Congress and
their staffs to the evening exhibition and to tell them about the HF/E field. According to Jill, members of Congress are always willing to meet with their constituents, so we visited the offices of Congressman John Lewis from Georgia and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas. During these visits we discussed the importance of science funding to industries and universities in