public opinion survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the United States and the world, with extraordinary human tragedy and economic disruption. Since March 2, 2020, nearly 400,000 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 and more than 21 million cases have been identified. Over the next month, an estimated 820,000 to two million new cases are projected in the U.S. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, the FDA’s authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is a critical step towards immobilizing the spread of COVID-19. But ensuring a critical mass of people are vaccinated is essential in bringing an end to the pandemic. According to a recent JAMA article , the share of U.S...
Since our founding more than 30 years ago, a key strategy tool in Research!America's advocacy for science and medical research has been influencing public opinion. As President Abraham Lincoln said, “…public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Over our 28 years of commissioning surveys, Research!America has asked a wide variety of questions about the importance of scientists informing the public and elected officials about their research and its impacts. In August 2020, our survey asked: "How important is it for scientists to inform the public about their research and its impact on society?" In response, 8 in 10 Americans...
Dear Research Advocate, COVID-19 : With the alarming escalation in infections and hospitals running out of beds due to the pandemic, it’s timely to stress to policymakers (and those who wish to be) that the American people want action now to improve our public health system. Today we published additional results from our recently-commissioned survey on behalf of a working group formed to address our nation’s commitment to science showing that strong majorities across the political spectrum see improving our public health system as an urgent priority . Science Strong : Please take a moment before November 3 to make the worst week of the pandemic the week every candidate connects the dots...
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, This week we congratulate the winners of the Nobel prizes, celebrating achievements and solving problems that benefit us all. In our statement , we underscore the importance of federal taxpayer funding for basic research, making the extraordinary work of the Laureates possible. I’ve long admired the way the Nobel Foundation captures the essence of the Laureates’ contributions, exemplifying as they do the very best in persuasive writing . (For those like me who are aficionados of the power of the written word, this linked blog post provides keen insights on the rhetorical reasons why the Nobel Foundation is – and all of us can become – a model of writing that wins...
More than 480,000 people in the U.S. die each year as a result of the effects of cigarette smoking. Every year on May 31, World No Tobacco Day aims to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco as well as provide guidance about what people can do to claim their right to health and to protect future generations. This year, the theme is #TobaccoExposed: protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use. Every day, more than 3,500 youths in the U.S. begin using e-cigarette or vaping products. Earlier this year, a national outbreak of vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) was declared by the Centers for Disease Control and...
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. Every May, National Mental Health Awareness month raises awareness about mental illness and educates the public about mental health. The goal is to fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, encourage research, and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families. While one in five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. As we observe Mental Health Month this year, we do so during an unprecedented and stressful time. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have...
In January 2020, Research!America commissioned a survey to better understand the opinions of Americans regarding federal support for current research efforts. A combined 88% indicate that speeding medical progress should be a priority for both the President and for Congress with over 50% of respondents seeing this as “very important.” Information like this – gathered before our nation’s focus shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic – is a timely reminder of how strongly Americans desire federal support for biomedical research innovation. In the same survey, 46% of respondents elected that speeding medical progress should be a priority among candidates for the 2020 election. This sentiment has...
As part of ongoing work to keep a finger of the pulse of public opinion, Research!America has commissioned numerous questions over the years to determine what Americans know about vaccines and immunization as well as how they feel about vaccines and vaccine safety. The findings reveal a decidedly negative shift over the last decade in Americans’ attitudes towards vaccines. While this public opinion research predates the novel coronavirus pandemic, it certainly suggests that deploying effective strategies to improve the public’s confidence in vaccines must occur now and not wait until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed. Our national survey commissioned in January 2020 shows that respondents...

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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