Researchers need to lobby for science, writes Jai Ranganathan, a conservation biologist and co-founder of the SciFund Challenge, at Scientific American's Guest Blog. This is especially the case, he adds, as budgets diminish due to the sequester.
Other sectors affected by budget cuts — and he points to defense as an example — lobby for their cause and for their slice of the federal budget.
"The scientific community must also do the same, by convincing the public that it is worth spending tax dollars on research," Ranganathan says. "Scientists: this isn't someone else's job — this is your job, starting immediately."
He suggests a number of ways that scientists can engage with the public such as giving talks, writing blog posts, or posting science videos to YouTube. "Honestly, it doesn't really matter what method we use, so long as we connect to the public on a frequent basis with our science," he adds.