science

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...
By Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director of the Association for Psychological Science In the minds of many people, there is a separation between biomedical research and behavioral research. But that separation is artificial. Behavior is at the core of many health problems. Six out of 10 of the leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, are linked in part to genetic influences but also to controllable behaviors like physical inactivity, poor diet and smoking. Our 25,000 members are scientists and educators at the nation’€™s universities and colleges, conducting federally funded basic and applied, theoretical, and clinical research. They look at such things...
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...
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...
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...
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!...
Since 1959, the Canada Gairdner Awards recognize and reward the achievements of medical researchers whose work contributes significantly to improving the quality of human life. Among the world’€™s most esteemed medical research prizes, the awards distinguish Canada as a leader in science and provide a $100,000 prize to each scientist for their work. Four U.S. scientists are among this year’€™s winners: Harvey J. Alter, MD and Daniel W. Bradley, PhD received the Canada Gairdner International Award for their contributions to the discovery and isolation of the hepatitis C virus. Dr. Alter is a senior investigator and Chief Infectious Diseases Section and associate director for 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...
By Benjamin Caballero MS, PhD Candidate, Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Although science is perceived to have a fundamental role in addressing major problems of modern society — from climate change to global healthcare — the persistent dwindling of its funding by government agencies is a global trend. It seems that the betterment of humankind is in jeopardy if this trend continues. But who is responsible for this? And more importantly, how can it be changed? During the ’€œResearch Matters Communications Workshop for Early Career Scientists’€ at the George Washington University (GW) on October 9 organized by Research!America, Elsevier...

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