A majority of Americans (53 percent) agree that their family's health has been improved by medical research, according to America Speaks, Volume 15, a compilation of public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America. And an increasing percentage of Americans say the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should move more quickly in order to get new treatments to patients, even if it means there may be risks, 38 percent in 2015 compared to 30 percent in 2013. The newly released poll data summary booklet reveals Americans' attitudes about research and innovation ranging from regulatory review to the role of government in STEM education.
A strong majority (73 percent) say the federal government should assign a higher priority to improving education focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and careers in those fields. In other polling results, seven-in-ten adults (70 percent) agree basic scientific research, even if it brings no immediate benefits, should be supported by the federal government, and more than two-thirds of Americans (69 percent) say it is important to conduct medical or health research to understand and eliminate health disparities.
Investing in research is important to job creation, technological breakthroughs and economic growth,according to 79 percent of those surveyed. And more than half (53 percent) say the federal R&D tax credit, which helps businesses plan ahead when it comes to R&D spending, should be made permanent, even when told the federal government loses billions in revenue annually with this credit.
“Our polls show that Americans view research as an economic driver as well as being the answer to health threats that continue to outrun us,”said Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America.
Communication between scientists and policymakers is crucial, according to 80 percent of Americans who say it is important that elected officials at all levels listen to advice from scientists. A majority (78 percent) also say it is important for our nation to support research that focuses on improving the health care system.
"Like Research!America, the American Medical Association is committed to improving the health of the nation and ardently supports funding for medical research that not only generates lifesaving discoveries, but also fuels economic growth by increasing jobs and productivity, and helps control health care costs,” said James L. Madara, M.D., CEO and executive vice president, American Medical Association.
The publication also includes national public opinion poll data on eye and vision research. To view America Speaks, Volume 15, visit www.researchamerica.org/poll_summary.This publication is made possible through a contribution from the American Medical Association.