CDC

The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 was not only riveting, it was a reminder that Americans are as enraptured as ever by science. The challenge is not to convince the public that scientific exploration is meaningful, it is to convince them that scientific exploration is at risk. Which brings me back, inevitably, to the federal budget. When they return from August recess, members of Congress face formidable budget challenges: to prevent default, they need to raise the debt limit. To prevent a government shutdown, they need to pass an FY18 budget bill. There are only 12 days in September when both houses of Congress are in session, and President Trump needs to sign these bills (or a combined bill...
Dear Research Advocate, I was honored to speak yesterday to a group of early-career global health researchers, plus alums and mentors, gathered for orientation and training under the auspices of NIH’s Fogarty International Center. Following my prepared remarks we had a terrific informal discussion. A question from a researcher who had grown up in Kentucky triggered a thoughtful exchange: “how do I explain the value of my work to a resident of rural Kentucky, including why her taxes should pay for it?” These two linked but separate questions can seem quite daunting if, like most researchers, you have never been oriented, much less trained, to consider the public context of research. We’re...
Dear Research Advocate, Former Congressman John Porter, Research!America’s esteemed Chair Emeritus, does not mince words in his Washington Post LTE today, cautioning against state-level education policies that could be misused to subvert science education. Treating knowledge that has been affirmed by years of scientific exploration as negotiable jeopardizes our nation’s ability to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities before us. It is a path to decline rather than progress. We cannot afford to shy away from straight talk about misguided policies. Fortunately for our nation, John never does. This afternoon, the House Labor-H Subcommittee, formerly chaired by Mr. Porter, “marked up...
Dear Research Advocate, Last weekend’s March for Science truly was a celebration and a success. That so many passionate advocates participated -- hundreds of thousands in cities across the globe (some in the pouring rain) -- was awe-inspiring. Following the March, Research!America signed onto a community statement that gives voice to the importance of continued civic engagement by scientists and our commitment to fostering that engagement. At the D.C. March, we were thrilled to see two Research!America board members, APHA executive director, Dr. Georges Benjamin, and AAAS CEO and former Congressman, Dr. Rush Holt, among the speakers, and our video up on the jumbotrons. Some Research!America...
Dear Research Advocate, House Republican Leadership released an ACA replacement bill this week (section summaries available from the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees). The bill has been creating waves, concerning many in the public health and health care fields. The cost and coverage impact have yet to be estimated, but we do know that the bill repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which accounts for approximately 12% of CDC’s budget. House Labor-H Chairman Cole (R-OK) discussed CDC’s crucial role in a recent STAT article. Use this editable message to make the case for CDC and PPHF. Trust for America’s Health is a terrific resource for more background...
Dear Research Advocate, I have exciting news! Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, will join us at our 21st Annual Advocacy Awards Dinner on March 15 to receive the Gordon and Llura Gund Leadership Award . As he has demonstrated through his leadership of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, his work in Congress, and in so many other ways, the former Vice President is a true advocate for research. Join us for a remarkable evening. A foundational goal for this annual event is to spotlight advocates for science -- often those who both practice and champion it -- as embodying the “secret sauce” that empowers science by driving public and policymaker support. More scientists are...
Dear Research Advocate, Budget conversations are back to the fore. President Trump has made it clear that his budget will cut non-defense discretionary (NDD) deeply. NDD makes up only about 16% of the federal budget, but fuels a wide range of crucial American priorities like education, criminal justice, services for veterans, public health, child protection and science. As Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) recently made clear cutting non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding is not a viable strategy for addressing our nation’s fiscal issues. We agree and challenge advocates for research to speak up for the role of science in stabilizing our fiscal future. On The Bio Report podcast today, I...
Dear Research Advocate, Tomorrow, our 45th U.S. President will be inaugurated. The challenge and opportunity that President Trump - and all our elected representatives - face is to ensure that the next four years deliver better health, safety and prosperity. I hope President Trump’s inaugural address signals that his Administration will leverage research and innovation to meet our nation’s normative and strategic objectives. With NIH, CDC, AHRQ and FDA under the purview of the Department of Health and Human Services, the new Secretary will influence the nature and pace of medical progress, the capability of our public health infrastructure, and other critical science-relevant variables in...
New leadership in the White House means new leadership in key government positions such as those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which houses the Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers ( TCC ) for Health Disparities Research Program. Through this program, the TCC supports academic, community, and government coalitions that research social determinants and analyze various health- or non-health-related policies that affect health disparities. Social determinants, such as education, income, and community conditions — which are often tied to race and ethnicity — play a significant role in why certain communities experience higher rates of infant mortality , diabetes , stroke ,...
The One Health Initiative , which is supported by scientific, health and environmentally related disciplines, represents the future of infectious disease treatment and prevention. As advocates for science and medical innovation, we must recognize the enormous potential that One Health holds and encourage multi-disciplinary thinking and collaboration across the full spectrum of stakeholders to improve public health and security. Many zoonotic diseases -- diseases that are transmissible between animals and humans -- have had profound effects on public health. Ongoing scientific research on a West Nile Virus vaccine, increased understanding of chronic Lyme disease and therapeutic treatments...

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Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor