From Speaking Out On Behalf Of Science April Burke At the end of 1995, the United States Congress enacted a new lobbying law, replacing a hodgepodge of vague disclosure requirements adopted over the previous 40 years. The intent of the new law is to provide the public with an accurate listing of the people and organizations involved in lobbying and a general accounting of funds expended on such activities. As research institutions consider their responsibilities under the new law, faculty and administrators may become concerned that their interactions with Congress and executive branch agencies "brand" them as lobbyists.

But this is a time when scientists need to be science advocates, resisting the inference that the Lobbying Disclosure Act is a deterrent to communicating with policy-makers about the federal science investment. Although broader than the old law, the new legislation is not intended to "catch" people who occasionally make their views known about...

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