Posts Tagged ‘Society for Neuroscience’

A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: A New Year, New Momentum for Research

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Dear Research Advocate,

As we approach the New Year, a quick summary and word of thanks is in order.  Despite the unprecedented fiscal environment and an extraordinarily polarized Congress, research fared relatively well over the past year. NIH, CDC, NSF, and FDA all received budget increases in 2011, while AHRQ was cut slightly. The advocacy community has played a critical role in conveying to the public and policymakers that research should be a higher priority in America. Thank you for all your efforts over the past year. Read our year end press release with a statement from Research!America’s Chair, The Honorable John Porter.

In 2012, we face the fallout of the Supercommittee, which will bring devastating 8% across-the-board cuts beginning in January 2013 unless Congress reverses course. Everything that Congress does in 2012 will be with an eye on the November election. The presidential election is already in full swing with the Iowa Caucuses right around the corner and the Congressional races gearing up.

Medical progress – or the lack thereof – has implications for every American. As the elections approach, we must work together to ensure that research is an issue that every candidate has addressed. Our voter education initiative, Your Candidates–Your Health has attracted the attention of leading presidential candidates and media including The Hill and The New York Times, as well as over 100 print and online media hits for the press release covering the initiative and relevant poll data.  But we need advocates like you to help sustain the momentum. Attend a town hall meeting, write an op-ed or letter to the editor, and work with the media to make sure that candidates are talking about research. As I’ve said before and will again — we can’t expect elected officials who never talk about research as a national priority to suddenly decide to do so after they have taken office. We have to convince them now of the winning nature of championing research. Winning for the country, and a way to help them win election!

With the Iowa Caucuses coming up on January 3, the timing was good for our letter to the editor published last week in the Des Moines Register, commenting on Grinell President Raynard Kington’s op-ed and calling for the presidential candidates to talk about medical research. If you reside in the states with an early primary –  New Hampshire, Florida, or South Carolina – please get in touch. We will work together to get an op-ed placed in your state.

And don’t think only of those states. Follow the lead of Research!America Board member and Nobel Laureate Dr. Carol Greider who had an excellent op-ed published in the Baltimore Sun. In the article, Dr. Greider explains that “Our nation’s elected leaders are not championing science — or even talking about it, during presidential debates or on the floor of the Congress — even as other nations are stepping up their determination to match and exceed the U.S. in discovery. It takes years to realize the multiple benefits of science; without adequate, sustained funding for research, the careers of many bright, young scientists may come to a screeching halt.” This is the right message to send to the public and policymakers – if we fail to support research now we lose out on a better future for our nation.

A terrific op-ed by Dr. Huda Akil, neuroscientist at the University of Michigan and former President of the Society for Neuroscience, was recently published in The Washington Times. Under the title, “An Incomparable Nation,” Dr. Akil writes, “… there is a more fundamental reason, I believe, to support science in this country and to keep on doing so even during tough times. A reason that the world seems to recognize but we in America seem to be forgetting: Discovery is at the heart of what America is.” Research is part of America’s DNA, but we must work every day to ensure that our elected leaders don’t take this for granted.

Please help us fulfill our mission to make research for health a higher national priority.  For patients and their families, for our nation’s economic strength in the 21st century, for researchers and research institutions across the country…it has never been more important.  Donate now.


Mary Woolley

Post-Election Analysis: Health Research as Common Ground in the New Congress

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

How will the elections impact investment in health research? What can the advocacy community expect from the 112th Congress? What strategies will ensure research remains a funding priority?

Join us November 16 for a distinguished panel of speakers that will help us survey the landscape in the aftermath of this year’s midterm elections. The event, a part of our Your Candidates-Your Health voter education initiative, will be held at The American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC.

The event will also mark the release of Research!America’s annual America Speaks poll data summary. This year’s edition, Volume 11, looks back at the key findings from Research!America’s public opinion polling released in 2010.

Confirmed speakers include: Alan I. Leshner, PhD, AAAS chief executive officer; former congressman, the Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America chair; Stacie Propst, PhD, Research!America vice president of science policy and outreach; Mary Woolley, Research!America president and CEO; and Norman J. Ornstein, PhD, of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

Admission is free, and the event begins at 10 a.m. with a breakfast and networking opportunity. Speakers will present starting at 10:30 a.m., and a question-and-answer session will follow.

To sign up for the event, visit the event listing on our website.

Your Candidates-Your Health is sponsored by: Pfizer Inc., the Society for Neuroscience, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Association for Dental Research, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Public Health Association, the Association of Independent Research Institutes, Baylor College of Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, the Food Allergy Initiative, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Gladstone Institutes, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the National Bone Health Alliance, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, United Health Foundation, the University of Maryland-Baltimore, the University of Maryland School of the Medicine, the University of Michigan, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

Society for Neuroscience Applauds Historic Support For Research In Final Economic Recovery Package

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

The Society for Neuroscience, a Research!America member, issued a press release this week praising the funding for research included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

We also commend the many fellow organizations that joined SfN in calling for this bold and visionary investment, especially Research!America, the leading coalition aiming to make medical research a higher national priority.

Read the entire news release here.

The Scientist: Politics Calls Neuroscientists

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Quotes from Research!America Chair The Honorable John Edward Porter’s remarks about funding for science research at the Society for Neuroscience’s annual meeting were posted on The Scientist NewsBlog this afternoon. Other speakers included former NIH director Harold Varmus, Wendell Primus and Nancy Pelosi.

Who Obama appoints as the new science adviser, and whether that position will be a legitimate cabinet placement, within close proximity to the president’s office (President George W. Bush moved the current office out of the administration building) will be important things to look for in the first months of the new administration, said Porter. And be sure to listen to Obama’s first State of the Union Address, he added, since this will set the tone for his administration’s views on science.

Porter passionately beseeched the researchers in the room to reach out to local state representatives and senators, volunteer to advise them on scientific issues, and convince them of the importance of science to the community and health of the economy. Porter told scientists to ask their representatives to secure $25 billion in funding for science research to make up for six years of flat funding. He acknowledged that talking to the community may not be in the nature of some researchers but told the room to “get out of your comfort zone, that’s when things get done.”

Read the entire post by Andrea Gawrylewski. (Registration required)