Tomorrow's the big day. Everyone expects McCain to get the Republican nomination, while that same 'everyone' seems to think that the Clinton/Obama race will not be decided by this time tomorrow. That means that many more people's votes will 'count' in this primary season than in a long time. (Ever?) If you're undecided about voting, please get out there and pick someone. I am not one to criticize how you select a candidate. If you're not careful, I could get all cliche on you with over-the-top statements like, "You've got the power!" or something.
If you are a scientist who wants to make a difference in Washington, you can do more than vote. You can lobby! The best part is that you can get a travel scholarship to do it. I flew to D.C. last year and met with the staffs from three of my elected officials, as well as several others. The Coalition for Life Sciences sponsors three Hill Days each year. You go to D.C., get trained about how to lobby for science, and then go home enlightened/jaded/cynical about the legislative process. Sound interesting? Check out this information. The Hill Days they have scheduled are March 12, 2008, May 7, 2008 and July 9, 2008. The deadline for applications for March is February 13. By the way, this group used to be call the Joint Steering Committee for Public Policy, but who knew that had anything to do with science? I'm glad they changed their name.
I went last year the weekend after I defended. It was the first time someone (other than my family) addressed me as "Dr. Robey." If you want to read about some of my experiences, I wrote a few posts last fall about my time. Otherwise, drop me an email, and I could answer specific questions you have about it.
And don't forget to check back in tomorrow to see the ultimate in elections predictions. I've been tracking the early returns, and I think there could be a spoiler!