WASHINGTON—A clearer focus and greater financial support from private industry hold the key to the survival of the National Coalition for Science and Technology.
The Coalition, formed in 1981, has struggled to persuade the scientific community that it needs an overtly political organization to advocate greater resources for science. Its new slogan, “NCST—The Science Lobby,” is meant to highlight its broad focus and set it apart from the hundreds of associations and organizations that push for specific programs.
“We're trying to build a paradigm that is foreign to most scientists,” acknowledged Donald Stein, a neuroscientist at Clark University who helped to found the Coalition after serving a one-year fellowship on the Hill. “But I'd like to know what's wrong or inappropriate with direct lobbying to change the minds of the people who make the decisions.”
That approach caused a problem for the American Chemical Society, whose governing body voted...