Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Good Science-Related Causes

In the comments of a recent post, one reader asked for recommendations of good science-related causes to donate to. Not having much (or any) disposable income myself--being a poor grad student and all--I realized that I didn't have many suggestions myself. So, I asked around, and I found, not surprisingly, that there are a ton of worthy causes and organizations out there that need funding. In particular, some of my SciBlings here at ScienceBlogs.com were very helpful with their own suggestions. Although I've compiled quite a list here, I know that this just barely scratches the surface, so please chime in with your own suggestions in the comments section!

So, without further ado, if you're looking to support the cause, here are a few good places to start:

Science Advocacy

i-e3a035e19fcf6988765a589d91d1811b-NCSE.gifThe National Center for Science Education plays an important role as a strong advocate for the teaching of evolution in America by providing information for the media, the public, teachers, and policy makers. Become a member (and donate) here.

The Alliance for Science, recommended by Evil Monkey of Neurotopia, works to preserve the distinction between science and religion, for the benefit of both, by educating the public on basic scientific issues, particularly evolution. You can become a member (and donate) here.

Kansas Citizens for Science is a key advocate for science, particularly the teaching of evolution, in a state where this science is constantly under attack. You can become a member (and donate) here.

Kansas Alliance for Education is a PAC that supports qualified candidates running for the Kansas State Board of Education. Josh Rosenau of Thoughts from Kansas recommended both Kansas Citizens for Science and Kansas Alliance for Education. Since he's a local, I imagine he knows what he's talking about. Donate here.

Science Education

i-bc0a854647f34799ff8f5754fffc7a00-MfA.jpgMath for America works to improve math education in America by providing fellowships to bring outstanding students into teaching and by advocating for federal support of math education. Garner Robinson of Math for America says it best: "To teach math, one must know math." Donate here.

i-461c7bb6c2be54794b79e36ce071efb0-pe-logo.gifBora of A Blog Around the Clock is a big supporter of Project Exploration, and for good reason. Making science accessible to underrepresented youths by letting them participate in a variety of hands-on paleontology projects, Project Exploration has already shown impressive results. Bora has an extensive description of the project on his site, and you can donate here.

Animal Research

i-40aa9e0366661c75e40964e690c7b565-pro-test.gifPro-Test is an organization that needs no introduction around here. Responding to the marked animal rights extremism currently targeting Oxford, Pro-Test took its pro-research message to the streets in February 2006, and the rest has been history. You can normally donate here, but the donations site is currently down, so if you are interested in supporting Pro-Test, please email contact@pro-test.org.uk

i-f0ebe885dfe2c0f2691250cd2d6be005-FBRlogo.gif The Foundation for Biomedical Research is an important supporter of animal research, focusing primarily on public understanding of the field. The organization comes highly recommended by Sandy of Discovering Biology in a Digital World, and you can donate here.

Americans for Medical Progress supports animal research by providing the public with accurate information about the research and its impact. You can donate here.


i-3d6a2b367e4ecbaab77011cf202ecd16-stephen lewis.pngThe Stephen Lewis Foundation, recommended by David of The World's Fair, "helps to ease the pain of HIV/AIDS in Africa at the grassroots level. It provides care to women who are ill and struggling to survive, assists orphans and other AIDS affected children, supports heroic grandmothers who almost single-handedly care for their orphan grandchildren, and supports associations of people living with HIV/AIDS." Sounds important. Donate here.


The Federation of American Scientists, which was founded by Manhattan Project atomic scientists, offers detailed information and analysis to the public and policy makers alike in order to promote a more rational, just, and effective national security policy and to encourage the use of science and technology for the general good of society. Become a member (and donate) here.


i-691169f35723d287458b3371016e45e4-alex_banner.gifShelley of Retrospectacle recommends The Alex Foundation, which supports the research of Dr. Irene Pepperberg, who studies communication and cognition in parrots. It does this in hopes of encouraging conservation and improving the lives of parrots in and out of captivity. Donate here.

More like this

I know it's already a part of scientific research to use animals for their experiment. But somehow, I feel pity for them every time a certain experiment fails and animal's lives are lost.

Great idea. I'd like to point out one thing though. There are lots of people out there who despite their support for science have certain moral qualms about animal experiments. I know you've touched upon this issue many times and I think it's crucial for scientific community to reach out to these people. I myself am a person who is involved in animal movement and a science lover at the same time.

What I was thinking about this entry is that you could include some scientific institutions that work for the replacement of animals in many branches of science. I think that organizations like Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments or The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing provide a great opportunity for people who might feel uneasy with animal research to support actual science.

Great blog by the way.



Thanks for the suggestions. All else equal, I would prefer that we didn't use any animals in scientific research, although I have difficulty envisioning a future where animal research has been completely replaced by tissue culture and modeling work. Anything that can reduce our reliance on animal research, without compromising the quality of the research (that's the kicker right there, though), should certainly be welcomed.

Thanks for the post...I was just thinking about this the other day.