Science. Policy. Service. Progress.
The Congressional Science Policy Initiative (CSPI) is a nonpartisan effort to facilitate the engagement of scientists, engineers, technologists, and other experts with the US Legislative Branch to help produce evidence-based public policy.
If you have expertise in a data-driven discipline, join hundreds of specialists who are already taking action to provide critical information to Congress as part of the CSPI community.
How the CSPI community engages with lawmakers and contributes to evidence-based public policy
Enriching Congressional hearings with science
Senate and House Committee hearings are forums where Members of Congress question witnesses, learn about science and technology, conduct oversight of both the executive branch and corporate practices, and develop policy ideas.
The CSPI team tracks Legislative Branch activity, and when key hearings are announced, the team solicits the CSPI community for questions and ideas that Members of Congress could raise during the hearing. This data-driven information is then communicated to Congress for use in the hearings, promoting a rich discussion of the issues. For a step-by-step guide on how you and your expert community can inform Congressional hearings, click here.
Technical assistance on pieces of legislation
When Congressional offices or Committees are developing legislation and invite CSPI to provide feedback, we crowdsource evidence-based technical assistance from the CSPI community and communicate the feedback to Congress.
The incorporation of data-driven solutions into Legislative Branch bills strengthens US public policy.
Rapid response to crises such as COVID-19
CSPI addressed the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on engaging with coronavirus-related hearings, convening infectious disease experts to brief lawmakers, countering misinformation, answering questions from and curating a knowledge-base for policymakers and the public, and executing public service announcement campaigns.
CSPI also provided expertise to the press to further communicate accurate information to both policymakers and the public.
Councils of scientists and engineers for Congress
Members of Congress and their staffs are generalists, not specialists, and Legislative Branch science and technology resources are limited. So CSPI organized experts to advise Senators and Representatives on science and technology.
We (i) execute impromptu matchmaking of specialists with policymakers, (ii) coordinated the FAS-organized COVID-19 Rapid Response Task Force, and (iii) managed and staffed the Science Council we launched in collaboration with Congressman Bill Foster. To review seven Science Policy Snapshots expanding upon scientific exchanges between the Congressman and the Science Council, click here.