In 1839, Edward Bulwer-Lytton (a playwright) wrote “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Letters to the editor and opinion pieces can be powerful advocacy tools, especially when published in local papers, because they are widely read by elected officials and by audiences national media outlets often do not reach. As both scientists and members of our local communities, we have a unique opportunity to make a difference. This summer, 500 Women Scientists is partnering with RISE Stronger and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to write letters to the editor (LTE) and op-eds on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts - science!

Timeline

July 14th - Launch of the op-ed writing campaign

July 24th - 8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT - Our partners at RISE Stronger are hosting a webinar to go over the FY18 budget proposal and share writing tips (Webinar link: join.freeconferencecall.com/rise-science-tech; Call-in number: 641.715.3580 (access code: 609621#))

July 27th, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT - Our partners at UCS are hosting a webinar on "How to write effective LTEs." It will feature thought leaders and strategies for getting your writing published. Let’s take advantage of this training opportunity and learn to craft impactful, persuasive pieces. Register here.

July 28th - 1 pm EDT/10 am PDT - Our partners at RISE Stronger are hosting a second webinar (same as the one on July 24th) to go over the FY18 budget proposal and share writing tips (Webinar link: join.freeconferencecall.com/rise-science-tech; Call-in number: 641.715.3580 (access code: 609621#))

August 4th - Target for uploading a first draft of your Op-ed or LTE (email your draft to 500womensicentists@gmail.com for review).

Mid-August - Receive feedback from editorial team (note - we need editors! sign up here); revise your text.

Week of August 28th - Submit first wave of 500WS Op-Eds and LTEs. Whether letters are published or not, 500 Women Scientists will amplify them the following week by:

  • Hand-delivering and mailing letters to elected officials in district
  • Publishing on the 500 Women Scientists Medium site as guest blog posts
  • Publishing on pod websites
  • Sharing across the entire 500WS organization through social media (#500WSOpEd)

Writing Topics

We suggest three general topics for pods to write about - (1) speaking up against bills that aim to dismantle science-based policy, (2) proposed cuts to science funding in the FY18 budget, or (3) highlighting other science issues relevant to your pod. Consider scheduling a pod meeting soon to begin group discussion, choose a topic, and start the writing process.