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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    Your Voice, Your Stories: Help Us Ease Conference Travel Restrictions

    Communication and collaboration are central to science and technology research. And scientific and technical meetings and conferences, whether big or small, bring researchers, educators, and federal program officers together to advance fields forward and drive innovation.


    EWP_4685Since 2012, members of the scientific and technical community who are employees and contractors for federal science agencies have been subject to significant regulations and burdensome approval processes due to government-wide policies. The Government Accountability Office and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy have shown that these policies have led to fewer government employees attending conferences, which is a detriment to science as a whole. We hear from policymakers in Congress and at the agencies that, in part, this impact stems from a lack of understanding of why these conferences are not fancy junkets but important parts of the work of each and every member of our community.

    Today, AIAA is collaborating with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to ask for your help in urging federal policymakers to recognize the importance of conferences and collaboration to the progress of science and technology. Please take a moment to make a submission highlighting the importance of conference participation to a healthy scientific and technical community. Tell us about a collaboration that started at a conference and led to an exciting new discovery, or how you were exposed to a new way of thinking that was crucial to your success in your field. Since current regulations affect federal employees and contractors most, stories that involve collaborations with colleagues at national labs or research institutes are highly encouraged.

    We will be submitting these stories, along with others collected by science and engineering professional societies, to Congress and the Executive Branch, in order to help them understand the criticality of allowing researchers and technologists from the government, industry and academia to attend conferences and collaborate. We also will work to amplify your voice by attracting as much press and public interest as possible.

    Thank you for your story submissions so far. Please keep them coming!

    With your help we can make sure that the community’s voice is heard on the importance of scientific and technical conferences. Join us. Together we can make a difference.

    Submission Suggestions

    • Submit a story about a specific collaboration or project or a step in your career development that may never have occurred were it not for participation in a conference or meeting.
    • Explain how the work that stemmed from this conference or meeting contributes to the security, health, prosperity, and/or advancement of society.
    • Be specific in describing your story – include dates and locations when possible.
    • Please keep your submission nonpartisan and as constructive as possible.
    • Please remember this is a public education effort, highly technical terms should be made in layman's terms.


    Submit your stories to AAAS by visiting, and be sure to include the following:


    • Name
    • Affiliation/Institution
    • Email address
    • Voter Registration Address

    Story submissions are limited to a 1,500 character maximum.