Ellie Dehoney

Dear Research Advocate: This week, the research advocacy community suffered a tremendous loss. John Rehm , husband of Diane Rehm, passed away Monday. Diane, the host of The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, was honored by Research!America last year for her advocacy with the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion . Her late husband was a friend and longtime supporter of the Parkinson’€™s disease community. Our thoughts are with the Rehm family during this difficult time. As you pursue your advocacy efforts, we hope the newest fact sheet in our series about the human impact of research will prove useful. Max Hasenauer was diagnosed at 22-months-old with X-linked Agammaglobulinemia (XLA)...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, June 5, is a milestone in our Ask Your Candidates! (AYC!) voter education initiative. Today is the culmination of 5 by June 5 , a nationwide push to encourage voters to ask their candidates about the priority of medical progress and encourage five others to do the same. There is still time for you to join us! Click here to send a message to the candidates running for House and Senate in your district . You can customize the message to include your personal reasons for supporting medical research or you can just click send on the message we’€™ve provided. In this case, it doesn’€™t just take a village, it takes a nation. Please help us reach voters in every...
Dear Research Advocate: Congress continues to pay particular attention to – and make decisions bearing on – the pace of medical progress. To briefly count the ways: The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee heard testimony yesterday from agency heads within HHS about the significance of health-related spending, including spending on medical and health research. Read our written testimony here . Congressman Upton (R-MI-06), the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which has jurisdiction over authorizing legislation for NIH, CDC, FDA and AHRQ) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), a member of the Committee, launched their 21st Century Cures initiative with a...
Dear Research Advocate: Washington isn’€™t ignoring research; far from it. Legislation was recently signed into law that allows appropriators to reallocate federal funding from the Republican and Democratic conventions to children’€™s health research; proposals have been introduced that could ultimately provide supplemental federal funding streams for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and several other health research programs; and some Members of Congress have once again launched an attack on the National Science Foundation, demonizing certain projects as a means of casting doubt on scientific freedom. Unless you’€™re playing...
Research!America’s science communications event, “Research Matters Communications Workshop: Promoting Basic Research in a New Age of Communications: Challenges and Opportunities,” was held October 9 at the Marvin Center on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC. GWU’s vice president for research, Leo Chalupa, PhD (pictured at right), opened the day with remarks that implored the nearly 100 young scientists in attendance to think about their families when they communicate. “Act like your Aunt Harriet is in the audience,” Chalupa said; his welcoming remarks indeed laid the groundwork for the workshop, as Aunt Harriet would be referenced frequently throughout the...
Research!America’s science communications event, “Research Matters Communications Workshop: Promoting Basic Research in a New Age of Communications: Challenges and Opportunities,” was held October 9 at the Marvin Center on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC. GWU’s vice president for research, Leo Chalupa, PhD (pictured at right), opened the day with remarks that implored the nearly 100 young scientists in attendance to think about their families when they communicate. “Act like your Aunt Harriet is in the audience,” Chalupa said; his welcoming remarks indeed laid the groundwork for the workshop, as Aunt Harriet would be referenced frequently throughout the...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, I joined Diane Rehm and other guests on her nationally syndicated radio program to discuss how sequestration impacts “ordinary Americans.” I was struck by how deep and distressing the damage is, in so many sectors, including but not limited to our own. Yet somehow the pain is not acute enough to force action. What strikes me is how low our collective expectations have sunk when it comes to reinvigorating U.S. economic growth and prosperity. Our nation can do better; why don’€™t we maintain high expectations and hold our elected officials accountable for setting the policy stage to accomplish them? Policy makers should protect discretionary spending, make...
Dear Research Advocate, The two-month reprieve from sequestration agreed to as part of the ’€œdeal’€ to avert the fiscal cliff is a partial victory for all who worked hard to save research, giving us much-needed additional time to make our case. We need be smart in using that time well, because the delay was paid for through a combination of new revenue and spending cuts that could further drain the pool of dollars used to fund research. The fact that many conservative members of Congress expressed outrage that the fiscal cliff deal didn’€™t include larger spending cuts underscores this point. The debt ceiling will need to be raised within the next two months, adding fuel to the fire. And...
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...
Dear Research Advocate, As our nation edges toward the fiscal cliff, the White House and House Republican leadership have been trading offers. The most recent Republican plan includes additional cuts to discretionary spending ’€” another $300 billion. These newly proposed discretionary cuts are significantly less than the across-the-board approach of sequestration, but suggest that ’€” absent a strong shift in the winds ’€” more discretionary spending cuts will be part of any final, compromise plan. It is highly unlikely that any final plan will be hammered out until next year; the president indicated as much in remarks he made Tuesday. The best guess is that policy makers will coalesce...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana