AAAS

Dear Research Advocate, I am pleased to repeat myself when I report that it’s been another science-heavy week on Capitol Hill...and most, but not all, of the news is good. This morning, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed (51-0, a tremendous bipartisan victory) the 21st Century Cures Act with new mandatory funding for FDA, and with the NIH Innovation fund intact...and both are paid for! Representatives Upton (R-MI-06) and DeGette (D-CO-01) kept their word and managed, in an extraordinarily tight fiscal environment, to negotiate viable supplemental funding for federal agencies pivotal to medical progress. I am not saying the bill is perfect, nor arguing that stakeholders should support...
Dear Research Advocate: You may have seen this week’s 60 Minutes segment on an experimental therapy at Duke University targeting glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Like the PBS documentary based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s "The Emperor of All Maladies," the 60 Minutes report conveys the gravity of the cancer threat - the unimaginable emotional and physical toll it takes - and the power of science to fight back. The media gets a bad rap - sometimes deserved - for sensationalizing, trivializing, and generally making mincemeat of good science. The negative consequences can be enormous, leading to science skepticism that bleeds into counterproductive public policy. But just as often the...
November 18, 2014 We extend warmest congratulations to Congressman Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., on the announcement of his new position as chief executive officer of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of Science family of journals. As a trained physicist, Representative Holt leveraged his scientific understanding to propel and enact policies that have contributed significantly to improving our nation’s health and economic security. During his distinguished tenure in Congress, he worked tirelessly to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and helped enact the America COMPETES Act to strengthen investments in research and...
Dear Research Advocate: What will determine the speed and scope of medical progress in the years to come? There is more to it than the essential ingredients of money and brainpower. Sound tax policy is essential if we are to propel medical progress. Yesterday, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI-04), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced a comprehensive tax reform bill. While the prospects for passage during this election year are ’€” to put a positive spin on it ’€” uncertain, Congressman Camp laid down the gauntlet for much-needed tax and entitlement reform, and he also proposed making the R&D tax credit permanent. Uncertainty surrounding future access to the R&D tax credit...
Dear Research Advocate: Myth #1: Congress doesn’t pay attention during the August recess. Not true! Many town hall meetings are planned. Since the debt ceiling and appropriations negotiations are coming up in September, the August recess is actually a very important time for advocacy. Use this month to drive the point home that medical research should not be subjected to budget cuts by attending a town hall meeting, meeting with district staff and participating in our social media campaign, #curesnotcuts. Click here for sample messages, or draw from a recent op-ed penned by The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America chair. The op-ed ran in several McClatchy-Tribune newspapers across...
Dear Research Advocate: Myth #1: Congress doesn’t pay attention during the August recess. Not true! Many town hall meetings are planned. Since the debt ceiling and appropriations negotiations are coming up in September, the August recess is actually a very important time for advocacy. Use this month to drive the point home that medical research should not be subjected to budget cuts by attending a town hall meeting, meeting with district staff and participating in our social media campaign, #curesnotcuts. Click here for sample messages, or draw from a recent op-ed penned by The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America chair. The op-ed ran in several McClatchy-Tribune newspapers across...
Dr. Wallace H. Coulter Coulter. Medical diagnostics. See a link? Coulter is one-half of Beckman Coulter, a Research!America member and a company that boasts nearly $6 billion in market capitalization . And that half of a multi-billion-dollar, multinational company began with research on paint for the U.S. Navy. Such unlikely beginnings are the reason that Wallace Coulter has been named the first recipient of the Golden Goose Award for 2013 . More winners will be named during the coming months. The press release announcing the award explains Coulter’€™s research: In his time away from working for various electronics companies in the 1940s, Coulter built a lab in his garage and earned a grant...
It’€™s all over the news: The federal government is headed for significant, across-the-board budget cuts. Sequestration, or 10 years of automatic spending cuts, is a self-inflicted consequence passed by Congress, aimed to be a drastic outcome of failing to agree on a federal deficit-reduction package. Some Members of Congress argue that the sequester will not have a significant impact; they claim that the 5.1% cuts made in 2013 are only a drop in the bucket and there is no need to worry. However, the amount of money that the National Institutes of Health will lose, $1.56 billion, could fund the entire National Institute of Mental Health for more than a year. Cuts to the National Science...
Dear Research Advocate, Medical research advocates are being heard by those urging a halt to across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1; your voices are being picked up in the media and echoed by decision makers. But as the deadline approaches, no progress has been made, with many Members of Congress insisting that sequestration go forward. As much as we, and the public at large, have railed against Congress when it ’€œkicks the can down the road,’€ this is a time to call for just that! Delaying sequestration would create the opportunity (of course, not the promise) of a ’€œgrand bargain’€ before the continuing resolution ends March 27. (In order to avoid shutting...
Dear Research Advocate, Are we heading over the fiscal cliff? You have probably seen the several public opinion polls saying most Americans now think it’€™s inevitable. (’€œMerry Cliftmas,’€ says Jon Stewart.) Our latest polling tracks with that of others ’€” and adds a timely insight. Just when one might least expect Americans to voluntarily increase what they owe to Uncle Sam, more than 50% say they would be willing to pay $1 more per week if they were sure the dollars would go to medical research. See this finding and more in a new poll we commissioned to take the pulse of Americans at this high-stakes time in our history. We have been asking about willingness to pay more in taxes for...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor