Above the din but in the fray: environmental scientists as effective advocates



Environmental policies and actions can be improved when environmental scientists engage in science-based advocacy, by calling attention to relevant scientific information and ensuring that policies and their implementation are consistent with the best available science. There are many models for scientist-advocates within and outside of advocacy organizations, and the roles they play may vary, depending on career stage. Here, we discuss the challenges and rewards for scientific staff in science-based advocacy organizations, as well as for an academic working with an advocacy organization, as a consultant, collaborator, or member of an advisory board. We identify some best practices for science-based advocacy and encourage the environmental science community to recognize the importance of the scientist-advocate's role in strengthening environmental policy.