Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, the House passed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes this year’€™s cuts from sequestration along with an additional one percent across-the-board cut. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where we are likely to see higher funding levels than the House version, but with sequestration still in place. Congress seems anxious to avoid the brinksmanship and the government shutdown threats that have characterized past debates. While the less rancorous environment surrounding the CR is a welcome change, the complacency around sequestration is not. As research advocates, we cannot let these cuts stand. Sequestration isn’€™t a...
Dear Research Advocate, To say that the attention paid to sequestration is extraordinary is to understate the case, but there has not been enough public outcry to force meaningful congressional action. It is highly unlikely that a rabbit will be pulled out of a hat between now and 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night. Damage will be done, and meanwhile the political playing field switches to a new month and new, related and ever-deepening crises. Possibly the only good news is that the media has ratcheted up coverage of the impact of sequestration on medical research, with stories about ’€œcuts on top of cuts on top of cuts,’€ in the words of Eric Hoffman of Children’€™s National Medical Center, one...
Most Say Federally Funded Basic Research is Important to Private Sector Innovation Alexandria, Va.’€”February 26, 2013 ’€” More than two-thirds (67%) of small business leaders say basic research funded by the federal government is important to private sector innovation, according to a new nationwide survey of small business owners/operators commissioned by Research!America. In addition, nearly half (45%) say medical research funding to universities and other non-governmental research institutions should not be cut as part of sequestration, and a plurality (40%) say that such across-the-board cuts are not a smart strategy for reducing the deficit. The survey findings also reveal that small...
Dear Research Advocate, Medical research advocates are being heard by those urging a halt to across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1; your voices are being picked up in the media and echoed by decision makers. But as the deadline approaches, no progress has been made, with many Members of Congress insisting that sequestration go forward. As much as we, and the public at large, have railed against Congress when it ’€œkicks the can down the road,’€ this is a time to call for just that! Delaying sequestration would create the opportunity (of course, not the promise) of a ’€œgrand bargain’€ before the continuing resolution ends March 27. (In order to avoid shutting...
Dear Research Advocate, Setting a breathtaking goal for Congress and the nation, the president called for returning our nation to levels of R&D investment not seen since the height of the space race in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening. He spoke of the potential to defeat Alzheimer’€™s and to assure an ’€œAIDS-free generation’€; and he used the human genome project to illustrate the economic as well as human return on taxpayer investment in research. We were thrilled that the president listed medical research among the nation’€™s top priorities ’€“ along with defense, education and energy ’€“ right at the beginning of his speech, when he described the devastating damage...
February 13, 2013 Research!America applauds President Obama for underscoring medical research as a national priority, along with defense and education. We’re gratified that he stressed the brutal impact of sequestration, across-the-board cuts, to medical research and reminded the country of goals within the reach of science, such as the promise of an “AIDS-free generation’€ and cures for deadly and debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s. Issuing a clear challenge to the nation and the Congress, he spoke of the need to increase investments in science and innovation to a level “not seen since the Space Race.” We agree that educating young people in science, technology, engineering and math (...
Dear Research Advocate, The debate over how to stop sequestration rages on, with the president weighing in this week even as some influential Members of Congress hold fast to a do-nothing strategy. Now it’€™s time for us all to speak out! Along with our partners, we are pulling out the stops TODAY with a coordinated Day of Action. In just 10 minutes you can call and email your representatives, as well as congressional leadership. Then ask everyone in your networks — professional and personal — to do the same. Use this link to find our e-action alert and click here for access to congressional emails and phone numbers. Congress pays attention to volumes of communication; act now to assure...
Dear Research Advocate, Sequestration is barreling down on us. With the clock ticking to March 1, there are disturbing indications that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are prepared to let sequestration move forward. It sounds much too painless to make cuts to a category called ’€œdiscretionary’€ ’€” the very word invites belt-tightening ’€” not to mention that this blanket term masks the importance of the programs that would again be damaged (the Budget Control Act took the first swipe at them, and the fiscal cliff agreement, the second). We need to unleash the power of advocacy to put human faces on the rhetoric. We know the reasons research can’€™t be cut without severe...
Dear Research Advocate, President Obama delivered a comprehensive plan for stemming gun violence yesterday, identifying, among other components, a renewed role for federally funded research. (Prohibitions enacted by Congress in the mid-1990s and expanded in 2011 have largely prevented federal agencies from funding firearms-related research.) An executive memorandum signed by the president on Wednesday directs CDC to conduct research on the causes of gun violence and ways to prevent it. Restrictions on research that informs federal policy are counterproductive to sound governance. With the benefit of research findings, policy makers can identify the most effective strategies for preventing...
Dear Research Advocate, With all the conversation about the debt ceiling and tax and entitlement reform, it may surprise you to know that an additional topic is on many minds. A wide majority of Americans, 72%, say the new Congress and the president should take action to expand medical research within the first 100 days of the new legislative session. See this and more in America Speaks , Volume 13, a compilation of national poll data providing insights into public sentiment on key research-related issues. See our press release and download the full Poll Data Summary . These polling results are designed to be used in your advocacy and outreach! Among the growing number of issues that need...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America