John Porter

Dear Research Advocate, The President’€™s budget is out and it’€™s a mixed bag. First, the good news. NSF was given a significant funding boost, $593M over 2012 levels, NIH funding was increased by $470M, and AHRQ, via budget trade-offs, looks to have been boosted by $64M. The increases are from FY12 to FY14, since the President’s budget replaces sequestration in a different way than either Congressional body (see more below). The not so good news in the President’s budget is that other health research agencies did not fare well. The CDC budget was cut deeply, especially prevention programs. FDA was essentially flat -funded. And entitlement-reform may pose a challenge to innovation. The...
Dear Research Advocate, On Tuesday, the president announced a new $100 million brain research initiative (BRAIN) that will involve NSF, NIH and DARPA and include support from a number of independent research institutes and private foundations. The fact that the White House has announced this ’€œmoonshot’€ is an important sign that research is securing its rightful role as a top national priority, which is critical to our collective goal of eliminating sequestration and aligning research funding with scientific opportunity. The president will include BRAIN in his FY14 budget, which will be released April 10. In CQ , House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) expressed support for the BRAIN...
Dear Research Advocate, The debate over how to stop sequestration rages on, with the president weighing in this week even as some influential Members of Congress hold fast to a do-nothing strategy. Now it’€™s time for us all to speak out! Along with our partners, we are pulling out the stops TODAY with a coordinated Day of Action. In just 10 minutes you can call and email your representatives, as well as congressional leadership. Then ask everyone in your networks — professional and personal — to do the same. Use this link to find our e-action alert and click here for access to congressional emails and phone numbers. Congress pays attention to volumes of communication; act now to assure...
Dear Research Advocate, With the world listening, President Obama acknowledged the importance of science, STEM education and research to our nation’€™s economic competitiveness and, more generally, to the future our children face. Many Republicans have voiced similar views. While it is heartening that policy makers on both sides of the aisle believe in research, they also must cut dollars from the federal budget. The president noted this in his speech and also mentioned the need to tame rising health care costs. The intersection of research, rising health care costs, and deficit reduction is the exact spot where advocates need to jump in. As policy makers grapple with how to control health...
Some group shots from yesterday’s events: From left, Catherine Tucker, PhD; Research!America Board member Mark McClellan, MD, PhD; and Amalia Miller, PhD. Tucker and Miller are the recipients of the 2012 Garfield Economic Impact Award. From left, Research!America Board member, Hon. Kweisi Mfume; Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley; National Journal Daily editor Matthew Cooper; and Research!America Chair Hon. John Edward Porter. From left, Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley; National Journal Daily editor Matthew Cooper; Research!America Board member and chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Alan Leshner, PhD; and Research!...
In an October article from Cell magazine (subscription required), Yale biologist Thomas D. Pollard, MD, explains his views on ’€œwhy all scientists should feel obligated to do their part to support the community by advocating for the benefits of government investments in scientific research and training.’€ Pollard illustrates how the political climate has changed in the past decade. No longer can scientists leave the advocacy to others in favor of lab work. That shortsightedness could have potentially disastrous effects on funding for a lab or institution. The fact is that, as Pollard states, ’€œweak tax revenues and growing deficits have led politicians to compromise funding for research...
Pending Budget Cuts will Further Jeopardize Global Leadership in Research and Innovation WASHINGTON, DC ’€”October 25, 2012’€”Biomedical and health research and development (R&D) spending from all sources declined by more than $4 billion or 3% between FY10 and FY11 according to Research!America’€™s 2011 U.S. Investment in Health Research report. This represents the first drop in overall spending since Research!America began compiling the data in 2002. The decline follows an uptick in research funding attributed to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which allocated $10.4 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over two fiscal years (2009-2010). The overall...
Dear Research Advocate, The first presidential debate will be held Wednesday, October 3 at the University of Denver. This debate will likely be the only one in which health issues are discussed: Will the candidates talk about research and innovation in that context? This is our chance to speak up, whether they do (bravo!) or don’€™t (why not??). While watching, include the Twitter handle for the debates (@NewsHour) in your tweets, and afterwards, send a letter to the editor of your local paper. This is the final phase of our Your Candidates - Your Health voter education initiative. We know from experience over the years that all of us ’€“ stakeholders and advocates for research ’€“ become...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration, the looming fiscal cliff, a dangerous House appropriations bill ’€“ all were addressed in our members-only call yesterday with Chairman John Porter. As Porter pointed out, we have to keep the big picture in mind, pushing for tax and entitlement reform as part of the larger ’€œfix,’€ AND, in the immediate, we have to cry foul about the House bill and sequestration. Right now, while Congress is still in session, we must flood their offices, and the Administration, with calls and e-mails. Take 30 seconds to send a message to your representatives to remind them that medical research should be among our nation’€™s highest priorities. And – as was...
Dear Research Advocate, ’€œShell-shocked’€ is a fair way to describe reaction to the latest appropriations bill in which the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies subcommittee released its funding recommendations. The NIH was flat-funded and seriously micromanaged in unprecedented ways, CDC funding was cut deeply, and funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was terminated . See our press statement on the bill here and the Nature article that included our quote. The Science Insider article also has details. As if this wasn’€™t bad enough, an amendment to the subcommittee bill would have slashed another $8.3 billion ’€“ fortunately...

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Sidebar Quote

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