CSLDF is participating virtually in several events at the GSA Connects 2022 conference:
How Scientists Can Be Involved in Scientific and Political Advocacy Ahead of the Midterm Elections: Geologists and other scientists are increasingly interested in using their voices and expertise to engage in scientific and political advocacy—and with the midterm elections right around the corner, it is more vital than ever that they do so. In the last few months alone, government actions have ignored or misrepresented the science of climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion, and other matters. This highlights the importance of scientists and researchers being engaged in elections and having seats at the policymaking table. In this session, a lawyer from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund will discuss several ways that geologists and other scientists can apply their expertise towards the policy and lawmaking process, both as scientists and as private citizens. Specifically, CSLDF will explain how scientists can actively participate in campaigning for science-forward candidates of their choice, how scientists can engage with Congress on legislative matters, and other avenues for governmental change. A lawyer from CSLDF will also cover general First Amendment rights as they pertain to geologists and other scientists, including how scientists can safely participate in activism such as protests. Finally, CSLDF will discuss how scientists can be most effective in their advocacy efforts while avoiding potential pitfalls, with the aim of ensuring that scientists can fully participate in their personal capacities while minimizing the risk of negative repercussions in their professional lives.
How Open Records Laws Affect Scientists: Scientists are increasingly targeted with invasive open records requests that can hinder academic freedom, distract from meaningful scientific research, and chill communication and collaboration among scientists at public universities and other public institutions. In this informal workshop, an attorney from the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund will discuss what open records laws are generally, and how these laws are more and more frequently being abused to target scientists and other researchers by politically motivated groups and individuals. While these laws are routinely used by investigative reporters and the public to uncover, for example, government corruption and waste, scientists must also be prepared for the misuse of open records laws. CSLDF will explain how scientists engaged in research viewed as controversial, such as climate change, can find themselves the subject of these harassing requests at higher rates. An attorney from CSLDF will also cover how scientists can protect themselves from becoming the targets of these invasive requests and lawsuits, and what to do if you are a scientist being targeted.
Free and Confidential Legal Consultations for Scientists: In this session, a lawyer from CSLDF will be available for 30-minute, one-on-one counseling sessions with scientists. CSLDF will provide free legal consultations on issues facing scientists such as First Amendment matters (for example, issues of censorship or defamation), employment concerns, strategies for safe-guarding online communications from adverse interests, or any other legal issues that scientists are grappling with or would like more information about. These one-on-ones can be scheduled ahead of time, between other sessions at their convenience, or the same day, depending on remaining availability. You can sign up for these sessions here.