Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate, On the Hill: The odds are increasing that members of the Senate will come together again, as they did with several COVID-19 supplemental spending packages, to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. It is anticipated the House will follow suit. This is meaningful beyond the clear need to address gaps and frailties in our nation’s infrastructure; it reinforces a too rarely demonstrated truth: if members of Congress are convinced a need is compelling enough, they find a path forward. COVID-19 has taken more than 4.19 million lives worldwide. According to the WHO, each year, more than 15 million people between the ages of 30 and 69 die from a non-communicable disease...
Dear Research Advocate, For the first time since 1975, the Gallup poll has asked respondents about their confidence in science as an institution. Although confidence in science is down from 70% to 64% since 1975, science remains one of our country’s most trusted institutions, behind only small businesses and the military. (Gallup’s findings are in line with results from our own commissioned survey earlier this year.) A breakdown by political affiliation showed a large gap between parties. It’s worth noting that in 1975, Republicans, Democrats and independents all showed similarly strong confidence (~70%) in science. Working towards confidence in science as part of our national identity is...
Dear Research Advocate, Today, a Surgeon General’s Advisory was released on “ Confronting Health Misinformation ,” directing every American’s attention to the harm misinformation causes to individual and public health. Research!America applauds Surgeon General Murthy for calling on the nation to work together in a “whole of society” push to confront and build resilience against health misinformation. Relevant to the nation’s efforts to combat misinformation, Jen Easterly was sworn in on Tuesday as director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), after unanimous approval by the Senate. CISA houses a robust resource library to help...
Dear Research Advocate, We are at an inflection point in the pandemic; many people are asking, “Life seems to be getting back to ‘normal’ — are we almost to the finish line?” One response is that we must do more globally, a reality made all the more urgent by viral mutations such as the Delta variant. (Read and share our latest blog post , a pithy overview of the science behind viral variants and stopping their spread. “The longer a virus continues to circulate unchecked, the greater the likelihood that a mutation will produce a more effective disguise — one less like a fake moustache and more like a ski mask.”) The investigation into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has become quite controversial...
Dear Research Advocate, Last week, we asked you to weigh in with House leadership to bring up key research legislation for a vote. Good news! The National Science Foundation for the Future Act ( H.R.2225 ) and Department of Energy Science for the Future Act ( H.R.3593 ) were both passed this week. Part of what President Biden calls a “once in a generation” investment, these bills put forth important policies and authorize new funding levels designed to drive faster innovation in science and technology at NSF and DOE. The House bills are expected to be conferenced with the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act ( S.1260 ). The Science and Technology Action Committee,...
Dear Research Advocate, Discovery, Development, and Delivery 2.0: Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Fred Upton (R-MI) have released a “Cures 2.0” discussion draft that addresses a range of critical issues bearing on the future of health and healthcare. Read our statement applauding these research champions here and a section-by-section summary of the draft here . The discussion draft includes provisions that would authorize President Biden’s proposed ARPA-H. Reps. DeGette and Upton have issued a request for information to inform their continued work on these provisions. On Thursday, July 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET, key staff from both Representatives’ offices will be joining an alliance...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Hill: Will progress be a priority? The moment you take today to advocate (that’s presumptuous of me, but I know the readers of this weekly letter are action-oriented) is timely: the House has established a preliminary topline appropriations number of $1.5 trillion for both defense and non-defense discretionary spending. This placeholder number, which tracks closely to the President’s topline, enables the House to begin the FY22 appropriations process in earnest — allocating funding to each Appropriations Subcommittee and crafting various funding bills. While the House topline may change a bit later this summer and the Senate has not yet floated a topline, the...
Dear Research Advocate, Data on Trust in Science: Newly published data from the annual global State of Science Index commissioned by 3M indicate that public trust in science is trending upward. According to the 3M survey, which was conducted in 17 countries in February and March, 87% of survey participants are hopeful that 2021 will be better than 2020, thanks to science. U.S. respondents tracked closely with others worldwide. Our own public opinion survey , conducted earlier this year, found that 46% of Americans say their trust in science has increased. Health Equity Data: The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine has developed a Health Equity Tracker to...
Dear Research Advocate, A New Budget Proposal : President Biden’s full FY22 budget request builds upon and modifies parts of the initial budget blueprint he released in April. Research!America applauded the President in our statement . NIH, CDC, AHRQ, FDA, and NSF would all receive significant increases to their base budgets under the President’s proposal. In a particularly welcome development, the President now recommends a base budget increase of $2.5 billion for NIH (exclusive of ARPA-H). See our updated budget chart here . Use this editable Tweet to thank the President for proposing a number of crucially important increases. Look for opportunities in upcoming letters to help ensure...
Dear Research Advocate, President Biden will release his FY22 budget tomorrow. We anticipate that it will be a great day for science, increasing public attention to the importance of science in meeting national goals. As you may remember, the President requested important increases for NIH, CDC, and NSF in his previously-released “skinny” budget and we expect those will remain in the full budget. FDA and AHRQ were not included in the earlier budget; we have been advocating for these important agencies to also receive solid increases. Research!America will be issuing a statement following the release of the full budget. Watch for that and know that we will keep you informed. Last week, we...

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor