The Economic Value of Research
|Mary Woolley; Robert Topel, PhD; Eugene Garfield, PhD; Kevin Murphy, PhD; The Honorable John Edward Porter; Jordan Cohen, MD|
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business economics professors Kevin M. Murphy, PhD, and Robert H. Topel, PhD, are the recipients of Research!America's 2005 Eugene Garfield Economic Impact of Medical and Health Research Award. They were chosen for their groundbreaking work assigning economic value to medical research advances and the resulting gains in U.S. life expectancy.
The award recognizes Murphy and Topel's study, The Economic Value of Medical Research in Measuring the Gains from Medical Research, An Economic Approach. Calculating a dollar value for gains in longevity due to advances in medical research, they estimate that "improvements in life expectancy alone added approximately $2.6 trillion per year ... to national wealth over the 1970-98 period." They also calculate economic gains linked to conditions such as heart disease, where research has led to fewer deaths in recent decades.
National Research!America opinion polls have found that the public appreciates the economic impact of research. Fully 90% of Americans believe medical and health research is important to the U.S. economy.
"In a time of deficits and potential cuts to federal funding for research, the Garfield award recognizes these esteemed researchers, who have shown from an economic perspective that the United States is getting a substantial return on its investment in medical research," said The Honorable John Edward Porter, chair of Research!America's board of directors.
Eugene Garfield, PhD, the award benefactor and a Research!America board member, is president and founding editor of The Scientist, and creator of the Scientific Citation Index-a tool used by scientists across many disciplines. He presented the award October 25 in Washington, DC.