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When it comes to politics and policy, Americans overwhelmingly believe that science should be a part of the conversation. In a public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America in January 2021 89% of respondents said it was very or somewhat important for scientists to inform elected officials about their research and its impact on society. Similarly, 88% said it was very or somewhat important for elected officials to listen to advice from scientists, and 87% said it was important for elected officials to listen to advice from public health professionals. Research!America is committed to putting science front and center in policymaking. In order to make this goal a reality, our elected...
Americans largely think the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed major changes needed to public health systems. We asked participants to select from two statements: “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that major changes are needed in our public health systems, including more funding” or “The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime event and existing systems are dealing with it adequately.” Seven in 10 said they believed that major changes are needed to our public health systems. Though pandemic preparedness is an important component of public health systems, Americans also need these systems to address long-standing public health challenges like the opioid crisis. When asked about opioid abuse...
According to a January 2021 survey commissioned by Research!America, most Americans (72%) cannot name a living scientist. Similarly, over half of Americans could not name a medical or health research institution, and 43% were unaware that medical research is conducted in all 50 U.S. states. However, the number saying they could name a living scientist increased from just 20% in 2017 to 27% in the most recent survey. The increased visibility of science during the COVID-19 pandemic may be behind this jump. Pfizer and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention topped the list of named research institutions. Despite this lack of visibility, those polled largely held scientists in high...
According to results from a Zogby Analytics survey commissioned by Research!America in January 2021, a majority of Americans support research investment. More than 75% believe investing in research is important for achieving key priorities, from economic recovery and job creation to preventing and curing illnesses to maintaining global competitiveness. Three-quarters strongly or somewhat favor doubling federal spending on research over the next five years, and 6 in 10 say they would be willing to pay more in taxes if that money would be spent on medical research. Support for funding university research is high, with about 80% approval for federal and state funding of university research...
While the United States has been the uncontested leader in research & development (R&D) spending for decades, global trends in R&D investment pose a growing threat to U.S. leadership. The share of U.S. GDP devoted public R&D investment continues to shrink, threatening our ability to firmly stand on the cutting edge of scientific innovation. Nearly 90% of Americans say it is important for the U.S. to be a global leader in health and scientific research. Eight in 10 believe it is important for the U.S. to set and achieve a goal of spending 3%-5% of the GDP on research and development, as countries like Japan and Korea have done. Currently, the U.S. spends 0.7% of its GDP on...
Although climate change is often portrayed as a polarizing issue, it is a significant concern for Americans, according to a Research!America survey. Well over half of those surveyed said that climate change is already harming their own health, and similar numbers believe climate change is harming the health of others in their household, of Americans in general, and of people around the world. Two-thirds believe climate change will harm their own health “a great deal” or “a moderate amount” in the next 10 years, and only 14% said they believed climate change would not harm their health or the health of their household at all in the next 10 years. Multiple systems, including public health...
According to a Research!America survey, a large majority of Americans support research to eliminate health disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted health disparities that exist along racial, ethnic, geographic, and economic lines. However, these disparities - in rates of chronic illnesses, in infant mortality, and in health outcomes - existed long before the pandemic. Research into the underlying causes and solutions can help eliminate these disparities in the future. Americans largely support research looking into health disparities, with over half saying it is very important to conduct this type of research. Check out our Public Opinion Polls page to see the full results from...
Stagnant funding could threaten progress in eye research America’€™s minority populations are united in the view that not only is eye and vision research very important and needs to be a national priority, but many feel that current federal funding ($2.10 per person, per year) is not enough and should be increased. This may stem from the evidence that most minority populations recognize to some degree that individuals have different risks of eye disease depending on their ethnic heritage. And while these Americans rate losing their eyesight as having the greatest impact on their daily life and having a significant impact on their independence, productivity and overall quality of life, 50...
Dear Research Advocate: Since President Obama declared 2014 as a ’€œyear of action’€ in his State of the Union address, several people have asked my view on how the president might advance science by executive order. Some options that come to mind: the president can (1) pump up the budget for NIH and other science agencies in his FY15 budget blueprint, scheduled for release in early March; (2) require an assessment of the impact on innovation, access and economic growth before making any administration-initiated cuts to drug, biologic or device reimbursement; and (3) designate a task force to formulate a national science strategy. As several Members of Congress noted after the president’€™...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America, in partnership with the American Society of Hematology, released a new poll on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings about the consequences of recent fiscal debacles. A majority (57%) of Americans, across party lines, believe that the government shutdown in October caused significant harm to programs like medical research, defense and education, programs that Americans value. It is not difficult to connect the dots between fiscal dysfunction and the future of our nation: More Americans than ever believe that our nation’€™s global leadership in science, technology and research will soon be a thing of the past,with 73% saying we will lose global...

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America’s economic destiny lies in innovation, technology, science and research.
The Honorable John E. Porter