Research!America

Public Health Thank You Day ’€” November 25, 2013 ALEXANDRIA, Va.’€”November 21, 2013 ’€”On the Monday before Thanksgiving, Research!America and partners urge Americans to pay tribute to public health professionals who work around the clock to protect our health. Public Health Thank You Day honors unsung heroes who keep our drinking water safe and air clean, develop vaccines, track and investigate infections, and protect us from natural and man-made threats. These everyday heroes include our health inspectors, environmental health scientists, public health researchers, sanitation workers and many other dedicated workers. ’€œProfessionals throughout the public health system work 24/7 to...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday I learned that China is offering to pay full freight for students from developing countries who are interested in receiving their university degree in China. China is also, as you know, investing hand over fist in research and development, life science research in particular. Juxtapose China’€™s science, STEM education and science-diplomacy policies with U.S.policies: we don’€™t seem to have them! And contrast their funding strategy with ours: we’€™re disinvesting while they’€™re planning to outspend us within the next five years. So why does it matter where science is pursued? Why does it matter if the U.S. focuses on other priorities for awhile or forever...
Dear Research Advocate: NIH Director Francis Collins was recently interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article that would reinvigorate even the weariest research advocate. Dr. Collins captured the legacy and unprecedented potential of research for health, as well as the counterintuitive neglect of it, in a truly compelling manner. Dr. Collins made similarly captivating comments yesterday at the Washington Ideas Forum: “We’€™re going from the envy of the world,” he said, “to the puzzle of the world. Other nations are mystified that we have stopped following our own playbook ’€” the one they are using now to drive their economy and improve health and quality of life for their own populations...
Did you know that nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, and another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a Research!America member? During the month of November, the ADA, along with other organizations, will raise awareness and understanding about this increasingly prevalent disease and ways to prevent it. This year’€™s theme is ’€œA Day in the Life of Diabetes,’€ because diabetes doesn’€™t stop; it’€™s 24/7, 365 days a year. Visit ADA’€™s website , Twitter , and Facebook page to learn more about ways you can participate. Researchers are making progress in...
Dear Research Advocate: It has been a week since the Budget Conference Committee’€™s first meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for November 13. Staffs are at work, and various Members are talking. There are no concrete signs of progress. What I keep coming back to is the failure of our nation’€™s decision makers to recognize and act on the reality that the priorities of Americans are reflected in both discretionary and entitlement programs. The persistence of sequestration underscores Congress’€™ inability to make decisions and choose priorities. The sequestration era has run its course, dealing Congress record lows in terms of public support; it’€™s past time to end the era and...
As recent disease outbreaks have demonstrated, the need for public health is around the clock. But sequestration, across-the-board spending cuts, presents major challenges for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal health agencies. Among them: depleted resources for immunizations, reduced support to state and local health departments, and deep cuts to programs to prevent cancer, heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. In spite of the challenges, public health professionals continue to dedicate their time and energy to addressing major health threats. CDC employees are among the many public health professionals who show tireless commitment to preventing disease...
Op-ed by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley published in The Scientist. On winning hearts, minds, and votes for science In chartering the National Academy of Sciences 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln had the wisdom to establish a body that would provide scientific advice to the nation. Lincoln also had the wisdom to know that science doesn’€™t advance in a vacuum; he knew that there are political frames for science, which must serve’€”and be perceived to serve’€”the public’€™s interest. ’€œPublic sentiment is everything,’€ he said in 1858. ’€œWithout it, nothing can succeed; with it, nothing can fail.’€ Public opinion polls document strong support for scientific...
Letter to the editor by Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley published in the Philadelphia Inquirer. By visiting a University of Pennsylvania research facility last week, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) underscored his commitment to making research and innovation an immutable national priority (“Scientists reeling from budget cuts,” Oct. 24). Adequately supported, research will allow us to overcome major health threats and drive the economy. Americans have taken notice that research support is waning and, in addition, say they are concerned that officials in Washington are not paying enough attention to deadly diseases, polling done for our nonprofit advocacy alliance, Research!America...
The Genetics Policy Institute, a Research!America member, will honor the 2013 winners of its Stem Cell Action Awards at the World Stem Cell Summit, which runs December 4-6 in San Diego. The Leadership Award will be given to successful businessmen and noted philanthropists Denny Sanford and Malin Burnham. They are honorary trustees of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute , of course, but their philanthropy extends far beyond that one institution. The National Advocacy Award will be given to stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis. Knoepfler’€™s blog is a crucial resource for stem cell science and advocacy. (Research!...
Dear Research Advocate: Just in time for the World Series, a national campaign to make evidence-based government spending decisions has been announced. Moneyball for Government , a project of Results for America, advocates prioritizing limited taxpayer dollars by investing strategically in what works, eschewing ’€œgut level’€ instinct for metrics-driven decision-making. Stakeholders in medical and health research sometimes have difficulty measuring or agreeing on metrics that matter; it’€™s time to work through this challenge so that when stakeholders talk about research accountability ’€” in the current budget conversations or in any context ’€” we can speak with one metric-driven voice...

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Sidebar Quote

The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient