Research!America

Guest blog post by the American Chemical Society. How has the Super Bowl’€™s economy-driving market impact grown thanks to scientific research? Can a value be placed on innovation? What is the economic impact of science and technology research? What is the return on investment of research and development? These questions were addressed at the January 30, 2014, American Chemical Society Science & the Congress briefing, Measuring Economic Growth: R&D Investments , held on Capitol Hill. Moderated by the National Academies’€™ Stephen Merrill, PhD, panelist Steve Landefeld, PhD, of the Bureau of Economic Analysis spoke on how R&D numbers are now included in gross domestic product...
Dear Research Advocate: Since President Obama declared 2014 as a ’€œyear of action’€ in his State of the Union address, several people have asked my view on how the president might advance science by executive order. Some options that come to mind: the president can (1) pump up the budget for NIH and other science agencies in his FY15 budget blueprint, scheduled for release in early March; (2) require an assessment of the impact on innovation, access and economic growth before making any administration-initiated cuts to drug, biologic or device reimbursement; and (3) designate a task force to formulate a national science strategy. As several Members of Congress noted after the president’€™...
Dear Research Advocate: During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama acknowledged the important role federally funded research plays in maintaining our global competitive edge and referenced the harm done to basic science by sequestration. Using the example of vaccines, he highlighted the importance of applied research, not only for our health but for the strength of our economy. See my statement about the address here . For the president to succeed in achieving a ’€œbreakthrough year for America’€ ’€” a theme in his address that he is repeating in appearances across the nation ’€” we urge him to put science and innovation at the forefront. I emphasized this in a letter...
Dear Research Advocate: The end of the year is a good time to think ahead and consider our nation at the end of the decade; how will we fare in the world order? My letter this week to the editor of the New York Times highlights poll data indicating that Americans don’€™t believe the U.S. will be the world leader in science and technology by 2020. This data reflects opinions grounded in numerous media reports on China’s accomplishments and determination to lead the world in science. Chinese accomplishments in space of late and their plans for a space station in 2020 ought to be a 21st century “Sputnik moment” for the U.S. It should be a wake-up call to policy makers: get serious about...
Dear Research Advocate: Here’€™s a holiday surprise! I am not referring to the budget deal, but to the fact that Merriam-Webster’€™s 2013 word of the year ’€” determined via the greatest increase in online searches ’€” is “science.” I find this to be refreshing news, providing evidence that interest in science is growing, which in turn is an indication of substantial room for researchers and research advocates to contribute to public understanding and support of science. We appear to have an opportunity ready for the taking to overcome the “invisibility” problem that contributes to holding decision makers back from assigning a higher priority to science. And speaking of those decision...
December 18, 2013 ’€œSenate passage of the budget agreement brings us closer to restoring some of the funding lost under sequestration for medical and health research but this is a band-aid approach to solving our fiscal woes. Our nation’€™s research ecosystem has been a dealt a severe blow and will need robust funding to recover from steep budget cuts that slowed medical progress. We urge appropriators to adequately fund the National Institutes of Health and other agencies that advance scientific discovery and innovation to confront the many deadly and disabling diseases impacting our nation’€™s health and economy.’€
Dear Research Advocate: As I’€™m sure you’€™ve heard, the Joint Budget Committee released a two-year budget agreement Tuesday night. The package involves $63 billion in partial sequestration relief over two years, offset by fees (not taxes!) and a wide variety of cost-sharing arrangements, AKA ’€œpay fors.’€ While it remains unclear whether user fees will be subjected to any sequester in 2014 and 2015, the already-sequestered FDA user fees are locked up and cannot be used to accelerate medical advances. This is a missed opportunity that patients can’€™t afford. While not a perfect deal in many respects, the House is expected to approve the Murray-Ryan budget deal within moments, and the...
December 11, 2013 The budget deal moves the needle in the right direction but not far enough. We’re gratified medical research and other non-defense discretionary programs will get a modicum of relief from sequestration’s bitter pill but it’€™s not enough to meet the expectations of patients waiting for new treatments and cures. The budget deal also fails to address tax and entitlement reform, the main contributors to our deficit. Until policy makers tackle those issues head-on, we will continue to fund medical innovation at levels far below what’s necessary to maintain our competitive edge.
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America, in partnership with the American Society of Hematology, released a new poll on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings about the consequences of recent fiscal debacles. A majority (57%) of Americans, across party lines, believe that the government shutdown in October caused significant harm to programs like medical research, defense and education, programs that Americans value. It is not difficult to connect the dots between fiscal dysfunction and the future of our nation: More Americans than ever believe that our nation’€™s global leadership in science, technology and research will soon be a thing of the past,with 73% saying we will lose global...
New National Poll Reveals Many Respondents Predict China will Surpass U.S. in Science and Innovation by 2020 ALEXANDRIA, Va.’€”December 3, 2013’€”Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans say it’€™s likely there will be another government shutdown in the months ahead as Congress continues to debate deficit and budget issues, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America and the American Society of Hematology. This sentiment is shared across party affiliations: Democrats (66%), Republicans (65%) and Independents (65%). There is also consensus across party lines that government dysfunction has consequences. A majority of Americans (57%) say the shutdown in...

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor