Civic Engagement

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...
Civic engagement is a critical skill set for scientists. It creates an opportunity to take part in our democracy at any career stage while contributing a much-needed scientific perspective to important issues facing our communities and nation. Scientific research is heavily dependent on public funding with almost 50% of support for basic research coming from the federal government. But did you know STEM students are the student population with the lowest voter turnout? Knowing how to dialogue with policymakers and the public is vital to strengthening research as a national priority. Early career scientists may not know where to begin, but there are a host of ways to get involved...
Dear Research Advocate, I’m writing early this week to remind those of you who won’t be joining us in person that you can join our National Research Forum tomorrow, Thursday, via livestream. See more information at the end of this letter. Political theater isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always enjoyed it, from the Greeks to Hamilton. A remarkable, multiple-award-winning play, “What the Constitution Means to Me” will open soon at the Kennedy Center after a successful run on Broadway, and will soon head to the West Coast. I highly recommend it. Written several years ago by Heidi Schreck, who is also the lead, the work brings out the good news – and the complicated and ever-evolving...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Ten years ago this month, Dr. Francis Collins became the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which Research!America is a member, sent a letter to Dr. Collins congratulating and thanking him for his remarkable service, achievements and impact. Our latest web resource highlights the history, progress, and promise of the groundbreaking research NIH conducts and supports. Funding for NIH and our nation’s other science agencies hinges on timely congressional action, and on you. Don’t wait to advocate. Hard-won...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. We are nearly a year out from the 2020 Presidential election and six months away from the Iowa caucuses. While candidates were meeting voters and sampling local treats at the Iowa State Fair, a new survey commissioned by Research!America and Science Debate was released, demonstrating a large majority of Iowans want presidential candidates to talk about science-related issues. Ninety percent believe it is important for the U.S. to be a leader in science and technology research. These survey results reveal a not-to-be missed opportunity for candidates to highlight the value of science and...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. Earlier today, the Senate passed -- by a vote of 67-28, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 to raise the budget caps in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021. As Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) worked to round up the votes, Research!America sent a letter of support . The President is expected to sign the bill. Happily, this brings the threat of sequestration and massive discretionary spending cuts to an end. Your advocacy made a difference as you weighed in, time and time again, with your Members of Congress, exhorting them to...
I valued the opportunity earlier this week to join the team from the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science as they delivered their high quality program at Mississippi State University. Mr. Alda gave a typically inspirational and amusing keynote and also kicked off the interactive sessions the next morning. The Alda Method© team-teaches communication skills, drawing on working actors’ improvisational abilities coupled with the expertise of educators and researchers who regularly contribute to the academic literature, including the Oxford Handbook of The Science of Science Communication . As more academic institutions consider adding a communication and public engagement component to...

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Sidebar Quote

The capabilities are enormous, a little bit of research can pay off quite a bit in the long run.
Paul D’ Addario, retinitis pigmentosa patient