Rush Holt

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: You may have seen this week’s 60 Minutes segment on an experimental therapy at Duke University targeting glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Like the PBS documentary based on Siddhartha Mukherjee’s "The Emperor of All Maladies," the 60 Minutes report conveys the gravity of the cancer threat - the unimaginable emotional and physical toll it takes - and the power of science to fight back. The media gets a bad rap - sometimes deserved - for sensationalizing, trivializing, and generally making mincemeat of good science. The negative consequences can be enormous, leading to science skepticism that bleeds into counterproductive public policy. But just as often the...
November 18, 2014 We extend warmest congratulations to Congressman Rush D. Holt, Ph.D., on the announcement of his new position as chief executive officer of The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of Science family of journals. As a trained physicist, Representative Holt leveraged his scientific understanding to propel and enact policies that have contributed significantly to improving our nation’s health and economic security. During his distinguished tenure in Congress, he worked tirelessly to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and helped enact the America COMPETES Act to strengthen investments in research and...
Dear Research Advocate: People everywhere are captivated by the world-class athletes competing at the Winter Olympics. The personal commitment, dedication and motivation on display is certainly an essential ingredient for medalling, but it is not sufficient: Each nation fielding a team must commit to supporting sustained excellence. And both the public and private sectors play a role. There are some interesting parallels to science and innovation ’€” we don’€™t see it in the public eye every day but when it comes to the fore, it’€™s the kind of success that affirms the human spirit in a compelling way. When lives are saved with a new therapy or new vaccine, we all take heart and we...
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: Like most Americans, we are alarmed by the ongoing government shutdown. Since the shutdown began, I have been in Georgia, Massachusetts and Ohio, speaking to business and academic leaders, state and local elected officials, philanthropic leaders, and working scientists. Everyone is outraged! Clearly, biomedical and health research ’€” already compromised via sequestration ’€” is not the only priority placed at risk by the impasse, but it is a critical one. From limiting access to clinical trials to undermining the ability to protect our food supply or investigate disease outbreaks, Americans are put at unnecessary risk when government employees are furloughed. We...
Dear Research Advocate: Like most Americans, we are alarmed by the ongoing government shutdown. Since the shutdown began, I have been in Georgia, Massachusetts and Ohio, speaking to business and academic leaders, state and local elected officials, philanthropic leaders, and working scientists. Everyone is outraged! Clearly, biomedical and health research ’€” already compromised via sequestration ’€” is not the only priority placed at risk by the impasse, but it is a critical one. From limiting access to clinical trials to undermining the ability to protect our food supply or investigate disease outbreaks, Americans are put at unnecessary risk when government employees are furloughed. We...
Dear Research Advocate, “2013 is a bad year to have a good idea,” was the bleak statement Laura Niedernhofer, MD, PhD, made about the impact of sequestration in a recent FASEB report . None of us want this year, or this country, to be a bad starting point for good ideas ’€¦ but that’s what’s at stake. Think about telling someone with a serious illness that this isn’t a good year, or a good decade, for research. Think about telling them that from here on out, it may always be a bad year for a good idea. Is there hope for turning this around? We have bipartisan support and we have champions; that we need more is a reality, but by no means an impossibility. Cancer research advocates gathered...

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