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Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

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A new report has found that a one-size fits all approach is not the best strategy to engage and educate non-scientists. The National Academy of Sciences’ report, Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda was the subject of a public discussion hosted by the Academy on January 10 in Washington, D.C. Research!America board member and AAAS CEO emeritus Alan Leshner, Ph.D., moderated the discussion, which included representatives from academia, government and news organizations. He noted that science communication is “an acquired skill, not innate.” The report concludes that it is time to leave the “deficit model” of communication behind. This model suggests that people do not accept...
Dear Research Advocate, With so much going on in -- and about -- Washington, D.C., it’s easy to overlook the matter of still-unresolved FY17 appropriations. There are members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers calling for completion of those bills, and we agree. That’s what our elected representatives should be doing instead of kicking the can down the road with yet another extension of the continuing resolution (CR). Yes, it’s true that if Congress takes up work to complete FY17 spending bills, members will be tasked with developing FY17 and FY18 bills at the same time. Some think this will be difficult for the Senate, with its schedule packed with confirmation...
The January 2017 Research Advocate is now online. Highlights from this month include: As Research!America embarks on its 29th year advocating for medical, health and scientific research, and policies in support of medical innovation, we reflect on our achievements in 2016 and begin the work of advancing priorities for this year. Mary Woolley , president and CEO of Research!America, presented “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science" at the University of Connecticut Health Center , discussing the importance of building relationships with the new Administration and Congress. Federal policy update with information on the 115th Congress and priorities for the new Administration...
Dear Research Advocate, Washington is back in full swing. Members of Congress were sworn in on January 3 and started working right away on a budget resolution to facilitate repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While repeal appears inevitable, it’s a fact that the public and policymakers continue to be of two --or more! - minds about what a replacement should look like. The crucial importance of continuity extends beyond insurance coverage to include the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) ,and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). I don’t want to overwhelm you with advocacy asks: please use this advocacy...
Federal health and science agencies made great strides in 2016 to combat some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges and improve science literacy among the public. Among the achievements, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) clinical advances in blood pressure management, age-related macular degeneration, and malaria research. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked tirelessly to fight antibiotic resistance, opioid addiction, cancer and other health threats. The National Science Foundation (NSF) supported and highlighted the work of numerous scientists, including one astronomer who stressed the importance of fostering scientific literacy, particularly among...
Dear Research Advocate, Happy New Year! As I contemplate my list of New Year’s resolutions, I know there will be additions even after January 1st. I look forward to the wealth of opportunity for positive change in 2017. My first resolution is to engage -- and encourage and assist other stakeholders to engage -- with our elected representatives in 2017. The new year and the new President and Congress will bring changes we can count on, but outcomes that are unclear. For instance, the President-elect has placed significant emphasis on strengthening our nation’s infrastructure. One clear weakness in that infrastructure shows itself when infectious disease outbreaks threaten the public health...
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re taking a look back at our 10 most popular blog posts (based on page views) for the year! The posts cover a wide range of topics including basic and clinical research, public health, mental health and the 21 st Century Cures legislation. We thank our distinguished group of guest bloggers including young researchers, academics, industry experts, public health professionals, and patient advocates who are united in their support for stronger investments in research and innovation to combat diseases and build a safer, healthier nation. 1) NIH Plan to Expedite Lupus Treatments and Cures January 29 : In our most-read post of the year, Sandra C. Raymond, president...
Dear Research Advocate, As I reflect on the accomplishments of the year for advocacy for research and innovation, the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act is foremost in my mind, but more work lies ahead as it is executed and more work broadly speaking, to ensure that research for health -- and science and innovation overall -- is treated as a top national priority for the incoming Administration and Congress. I discussed this at UConn’s Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) Kavli Seminar last week, emphasizing that all of us who care about our scientific enterprise must step up our engagement with decision-makers. I invite you to view the presentation or...
Smoking rates, the number of uninsured Americans, and preventable hospitalizations among Medicare beneficiaries are all down, according to United Heath Foundation’s latest America’s Health Rankings report. But those gains are undercut by a sharp rise in obesity and deaths from drug- and cardiovascular-related ailments. The 2016 report shows a 9% increase in drug deaths over the past five years, and a 4% increase in drug deaths over the past year alone nationwide. This is in part attributed to a growing opioid epidemic that lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle hope to stem with $500 million in funds from the new 21 st Century Cures Act. Cardiovascular deaths also increased, for the...
Congressional passage of the 21 st Century Cures bill “is proof that advocacy works,” says Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley. She stressed the importance of scientists cultivating relationships with the new Administration and new Congress to increase support for the scientific enterprise during a presentation at the University of Connecticut on December 16. The presentation, titled “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science,” was part of a seminar series organized by the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) and supported by a grant from the Kavli Foundation . CICATS is a partnership between the University of Connecticut, regional...

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America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter