Civic Engagement

Dear Research Advocate, The White House sent its annual memo on research and development priorities to federal agencies this week. The memo, co-authored this year by OMB Acting Director Shalanda Young and OSTP Director Eric Lander, provides guidance to agency leaders as they prepare FY23 budget requests. In it, the authors highlight the unprecedented challenges and opportunities we face, showing the continued emphasis by the Biden Administration on building U.S. S&T capacity, including via greater cross-agency collaboration. These priorities resonate strongly with the goals of the S&T Action Plan . (Endorsements of the Action Plan are still open .) Strengthening U.S. S&T...
Dear Research Advocate, We have exciting news! Research!America’s 2021 Advocacy Awards program on Thursday, May 13 from 4-6 p.m. ET will feature Oprah Winfrey in an exclusive interview with honoree Dr. Tony Fauci. Other special guests Lester Holt, Anchor of NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC , and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins will be among those recognizing an extraordinary group of awardees. Don’t miss it! Register here for the event and please spread the word among friends and colleagues. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, the event is free to all. If you would like to make a gift in recognition of the honorees, which will help support Research!America’s efforts to speed medical...
In a fast-paced, ever-changing biomedical and political landscape, it is more important than ever for biomedical researchers to communicate effectively with policymakers. Recognizing the importance of equipping students with science communication tools, Michigan State University’s Science Communication group, MSU SciComm, a 2019-2020 Research!America microgrant recipient, has developed Conveyance, a virtual conference to connect students with science communication leaders taking place March 20-21, 2021. During Conveyance, attendees can participate in sessions on topics like science policy, literature, art, and outreach. Science artists Dr. Semarhy Quiñones and Kelly Stanford will guide...
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate our way of life, young people across America have risen to the challenges of a life lived largely indoors and online. Despite communications technologies keeping us more globally connected than ever before, young people have found themselves increasingly physically isolated. The “Stay-At-Home” lockdowns across the United States are the most severe since World War II, leading to unprecedented sights like empty malls, quiet streets in big cities, and empty athletics stadiums. These lockdowns have significant implications for environmental health research. Many young people (11-30 years old) are not in school and instead face major health...
Dear Research Advocate, Public Support for a Science Strong Future : A new survey commissioned by Research!America affirms Americans’ support for investing in research as a top priority for the new Congress and Administration. Four of five express strong support for the value of both public and private sector research and innovation, and the percentage of Americans indicating support for basic research “even if it brings no immediate benefits” grew from 77% in August 2020 to 85% in January 2021, with three of four now favoring doubling federal spending on medical research. As reassuring as the new survey data is in most regards, one in five Americans say they have lost confidence in science...
Dear Research Advocate, The election is yet another way 2020 is testing us like no other year. Let’s pull through by pulling together and putting science to work as never before. The key question for us all, advocates of faster scientific, medical, and public health progress: What can we do today to advance that progress? Gather evidence and speak out . If R&D stakeholders want the next emergency package to include supplemental funding for stalled or reprogrammed research, we need to act now. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he would like to move a supplemental by the end of the year. Not only is funding needed for federal grants, but COVID has decimated grant...
Dear Research Advocate, Deal or No Deal? : House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continue to talk in hopes of clinching a bipartisan agreement on an emergency supplemental. Earlier this week, Research!America sent a letter urging them not to abandon their efforts and to include, in any agreement reached, at least $26 billion to supplement pandemic-eroded research funding. We also tweeted them (you can too!). You can also email your Members of Congress, urging them to voice support for this funding. Advocacy can’t stop now! Immigration Actions Impacting R&D : The Trump Administration, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has issued proposed...
Dear Research Advocate, Physician and author Dr. Alison Escalante wrote in Forbes this week: “According to [a survey commissioned by Research!America], a strong majority of Americans agree that ‘the Covid-19 pandemic is a disruptive event and requires urgent refocusing of America’s commitment to science.’” Results from the survey were also featured in The Aspen Institute’s Science & Society publication released today. See the survey here . You can use the survey data to act on behalf of science right now! Visit www.VoteScienceStrong.com to engage with candidates on the strategic significance of R&D and the multi-faceted benefits of faster medical and public health progress. Use #...
Dear Research Advocate, The 2016 21st Century Cures Act (21stCC) is a prime example of patient groups, government, the private sector, academia and other research stakeholders working together toward a common goal: accelerating medical progress. With new thinking and new funding, 21stCC has empowered our nation to work more quickly to address rare diseases and chart new territory in areas such as regenerative medicine and brain science. (And that’s just scratching the surface.) We can’t overstate the credit due the policymakers spearheading 21stCC for their leadership, commitment and determination. Now the same team — Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) — is working...
Dear Research Advocate, As part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s launch of Civics Forward , CEO Thomas Donahue challenged the business community to play a leading role in civic education, for no less a reason than assuring the future of our nation. This challenge is reminiscent of his call to the science community last February at the AAAS meeting to do more with the business community, in order to achieve shared aspirations. As he said at the time, “without science there is no innovation, and without innovation, there is no industry,” going on to emphasize the enduring value the business community accords to science. There is no question that heightened attention to civic education and...

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Sidebar Quote

Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco