Join the "500 Women Scientists Vote" 2018 initiative

Since the founding of our organization in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, local pods across the nation have joined marches,  written op-eds and met with decision-makers to advocate for socially just policies and evidence-based decision-making. We've seen both science and the communities science is supposed to benefit (including already marginalized communities) threatened by federal policies, and we’ve insisted that we are never just scientists. Now, as we approach the US midterm elections, we are mobilizing our network. We are asking our pods to:

  • Engage with their candidates and ask critical questions about science and justice-related issues

  • Register and mobilize voters to increase STEM student turnout and ensure that in the coming Congress, we have more leaders and representatives who value science and who are committed to creating equity and justice

We will take action around the country in the months leading up to the US election day in November. Check this page for an updated list of 500 Women Scientists initiatives.


Webinar: Elections Matter! The 101 for how you can get involved and make an impact

500 Women Scientists kicked off our webinar series around our Elections Matter campaign laying out the fundamentals of how we all can get involved and make a difference leading up to the 2018 Midterm Elections in the United States. Our panel featured volcanologist Jess Phoenix, one of several scientists who stepped up to run for Congress this year, Virginia Delegate Hala Ayala, Science Debate Executive Director Sheril Kirshenbaum, and Melissa Varga of Union of Concerned Scientists. The webinar was hosted by the 500 Women Scientists DC pod and was recorded on July 12, 2018.



Webinar: 500 Women Scientists' Strategies to Get Out The Vote

During this second webinar for 500 Women Scientists pods, we will discuss candidate questionnaires, voter guides, and voter registration drives.

Now – Anytime

Will your pod host or participate in a town hall, candidate forum, or take on another nonpartisan initiative that we should highlight? Let us know about it here.

Pod Activities

Storrs pod

The Storrs Pod is organizing voter registration drives around northeastern Connecticut! We are also partnering with local non-partisan groups, like the NAACP and UConn Women in Science (WinS), to reach the maximum number of unregistered people before the upcoming midterm and general elections.

Ithaca pod

The Ithaca Pod is creating candidate questionnaires to send to candidates running for New York governor and to represent the residents of the 23rd Congressional district (inclusive of Tompkins County). For more information, visit their website.

San diego pod

The San Diego Pod is making a science policy voter guide based on questions important to the pod’s members and community. They’ve drafted six important questions and have sent them to all of the two-party candidates running either for California governor, congress, or state assembly. Once they receive answers to our questions, they will put together and distribute a voter guide, focused on science policy for all of our local races for the November election. This voter guide will provide their community with side-by-side responses from each candidate. Visit their website for updates on the initiative.

Philadelphia pod

The Philly Pod is sending out questionnaires to our state and local candidates. They have questions about Climate Change, Harassment, Immigration/Family Separations, Reproductive Health, and Science Funding. All responses from candidates will be posted on their website.

DC Pod

The DC pod has been tabling at university campuses to help students register and request their absentee ballots. They visited Howard University Law School with the League of Women Voters, Georgetown University, and George Washington University with the International Refugee Assistance Project and the GW Student Bar Association. Additionally, they sent candidate questionnaires and created voter guides with the responses. Visit their advocacy website for more information.

Amherst Pod

The Amherst Pod has had two major voter registration drives where we set up tables at University of Massachusetts science buildings. They registered at least 100 voters at these two events; some were first time voters. They also had faculty take voter registration materials to their classrooms. They are planning another day(s) where they educate the students about the questions on the ballot and the candidates.

Fort Collins Pod

500 Women Scientists FOCO pod put together a fact-based (nonpartisan) voting guide for their local (Larimer county) and state (Colorado) ballot issues.

New Haven Pod

The New Haven pod has partnered with Yale Votes and STEMVotes to register voters and encourage turnout. They’ve worked with 500WS Storrs Pod on a candidate survey and are making a voter guide. They are organizing rides to the polls on Election Day.

We want to see women scientists engaging in the democratic process and leading discussions about policies that impact their communities. Here are resources to help our 500 Women Scientists members and pods get involved during the 2018 election season.

  • Candidate surveys are a non-partisan way to get your candidates' positions on issues that matter to you. Science Debate provides a science policy questionnaire, but grassroots groups and constituents (like 500WS pods!) are essential voices that get candidates to respond. When candidates provide their responses, pods can publish them as part of voter education and mobilization efforts.

  • Several organizations are conducting non-partisan voter registration and mobilization drives around the country

    • The March for Our Lives is conducting a massive youth voter mobilization drive in partnership with the following organizations:

    • The League of Women Voters has more than 700 chapters around the country that work on registering and mobilizing voters.

    • The Union of Concerned Scientists and Science Rising provide resources to help you stand up for science in the 2018 elections, including how to organize an impactful event.

  • Since we are a 501(c)3 organization, we are obligated to stay nonpartisan. But that doesn't mean we can't advocate for policies that support our values. Bolder Advocacy has put together a useful checklist for what we can and cannot do as a nonprofit to serve as a guide.

  • 500 Women Scientists pods can take part in voter education and mobilization efforts.

    • The Personalized Ballot by the League of Women Voters is an excellent resource to learn where candidates stand on issues.

    • Science Debate has posted candidates' answers to science policy questions.

The DC pod is a community of women scientists and science allies. Their mission is to promote a diverse and inclusive scientific community that brings progressive science-based solutions to local and global challenges. Members of the DC pod value and stand up for underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), evidence-based decision making, and scientists' civic engagement. Together, they work to advance the mission and values of 500 Women Scientists. They also learn from and support each other and have fun along the way!

Connect with the 500 Women Scientists DC pod on:

  • Facebook

  • Twitter: @500wsDC

  • Email the DC Pod Leaders if you have any questions, ideas, or specific interests: 500womenscientistsDC [at]