Blog

Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Each blog post aims to inform readers about the health and economic benefits of research.  

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate, With a stellar team of advocates from across the research community, we have been blitzing Capitol Hill this week with our message that we need cures, not cuts. Research!America and our partners have participated in more than 60 meetings with Members of Congress, including key leadership and their staff. My thanks to the 140+ groups that signed on to our community letter to congressional leadership. Many partners have activated their grassroots to join the call Congress day, and there is still time to join the In-District Drop-In day (today) and a social media push on Friday. We also encourage you to keep up the drumbeat with emails and phone calls to Hill offices...
Each year on November 14, the International Diabetes Federation sponsors World Diabetes Day to raise awareness about the global burden of the disease. Although diabetes is historically associated with more affluent countries, diabetes rates are rising around the world. In 2000, about 170 million people had diabetes. Today, WHO estimates that diabetes affects more than 346 million people and about 70% of these individuals live in low- and middle-income countries. It is important to raise awareness of this growing burden and the links between diabetes and the infectious diseases that plague the developing world. Infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases...
The devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy has prompted a renewed discussion about climate change. Political leaders and climate scientists alike have raised concerns about the relationship between global warming and an increase in the number of extreme weather events. In addition to these concerns, climate change may also increase the threat of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) here in the U.S. NTD transmission depends heavily on environmental conditions and warming temperatures may increase the severity or change the patterns of these diseases. For example, funded by a grant from the Department of Defense, researchers at Texas Tech determined that climate change will allow dengue to...
Did you get a flu shot this year? Donate blood or give your time to health services? You are part of keeping our communities healthy, so thank you! In addition to your efforts, there are public health heroes around the county working tirelessly to protect our health each and every day. Even during the apogee of Hurricane Sandy, public health workers were providing emergency assistance and medical care to those affected. Please join Research!America and other leading public health organizations on November 19 th , the Monday of Thanksgiving, to recognize the outstanding work of these public health professionals. To learn more about Public Health Thank You Day, please visit http://www...
Dear Research Advocate, By far the most expensive, and arguably one of the most divisive, election seasons in history is behind us. A lot of money was spent to find out that Americans continue to hold divergent views on many issues. We heard very little about research during the election because, in most ways, it is not a divisive issue; support is both bipartisan and grounded in common sense. The problem is that it can be taken too much for granted. At a time when Americans are looking for an end to standoff politics and want action on things we can feel good about as a nation, prioritizing research for health can be the perfect healing issue ’€” something we can all be proud of. But let...
On October 31 st , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported new cases of fungal meningitis in Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and Virginia, bringing the total to 368 cases in the recent outbreak . This form of meningitis, which has been linked to contaminated steroid injections, is a serious disease that infects the brain and spinal cord. In the face of this tragedy, public health agencies and professionals have coordinated an excellent emergency response to the outbreak. The CDC responded quickly, identifying possible sources of contamination, tracking cases and communicating updates to the nation. CDC experts and local public health workers have been working day and night to...
Research, Industry, Academic and Patient Groups Join Forces for Week of Advocacy to Save Research, November 12-16, 2012 WASHINGTON ’€“ November 1, 2012 ’€“ Research!America, along with several dozen patient, industry, academic and health organizations, has coordinated a Week of Advocacy to Save Research for the week of November 12-16, 2012. The unified campaign is intended to convince policy makers to champion medical innovation, rather than undercut it, as decisions are made to address the ’€œfiscal cliff.’€ The campaign ’€” We Need Cures, Not Cuts ’€”is designed to raise awareness about the importance of making biomedical and health research a higher national priority. The campaign will...
Dear Research Advocate, Sandy was a terrifying October surprise. The devastation in New York and New Jersey is extensive, and it will take a long time to rebuild and to heal. It’€™s a reminder that not everything is about the election. That said, it is impossible not to think about a major election theme ’€” the role of government ’€” and also to think about climate change, one of many science topics not being discussed in this election season. Yet decisions involving the future of science will be made by those elected. That’€™s why we need to turn up the advocacy volume as loud as possible after the election, when the lame-duck Congress and the administration, closely watched and...
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...
During the final presidential debate, research finally got some airtime. President Barack Obama noted that ’€œ’€¦ if we don’€™t continue to put money into research and technology that will allow us to create great businesses here in the United States, that’€™s how we lose to the competition.’€ Similarly, Mitt Romney emphasized his support for research, saying that ’€œI want to invest in research, providing funding to universities ’€¦ is great.’€ It was great to hear both candidates acknowledge the importance of research for the future. As they explained, investment in research is crucial for supporting universities, creating jobs and maintaining America’€™s competitive edge (three of...

Pages

You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter