Write an Op-Ed
Science policy researchers and advocates have a great opportunity to share their expertise and establish themselves as thought leaders on important science policy topics by submitting op-eds in newspapers and online mass media outlets.
By submitting and sharing their perspectives, scientists and policy specialists can help put important science policy topics on the radars of people otherwise unfamiliar with those topics. They may even propose novel policy solutions to a scientific issue facing society.
Unlike letters to the editor, which are typically shorter pieces directly responding to a previously published article, op-eds are generally 250 – 700 word pieces published on the page opposite of a newspaper’s editorials (hence, “op-ed”) that share a specific thesis or perspective on a timely topic. They tend to communicate the author’s opinion on an issue and often provide recommendations that author has for addressing the issue.
To see some examples and learn more about organizing and crafting your first op-ed, consider reviewing the resources made available by AAAS, the Union of Concerned Scientists, or Duke University. You may also consult with your relevant science and/or policy society. Aim to submit your work to a broad variety of sources—you will have a better chance of publication in local or regional sources than national, but you can still have an impact no matter the scale.