State of the Union

Dear Research Advocate: During his State of the Union address, when President Trump laid out the goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., it brought to mind the critical role research has played in making eradication even plausible. Years and years of research and development in both the public and private sectors have yielded once-unimaginable diagnostics, treatments, prevention, strategies and public health surveillance tools. Relegating this scourge to the history books – in the U.S. and also worldwide – is a worthy goal indeed. The president highlighted our nation’s legacy of making “giant leaps of science and discovery.” As we noted in our statement , we can’t assume progress...
Dear Research Advocate: As the new year begins we are hard at work building on the momentum created by Congress’ strong support of research in 2015 to ensure that robust funding and pro-innovation policies will be the norm, not the exception, in the years ahead. I applaud the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN) for sponsoring a terrific full page ad in The Washington Post yesterday, offering thanks to Congress and thanks to research for providing new hope to patients and their families. Another group to thank is all the many partners in advocacy -- you! -- who have worked together so effectively to achieve the successes of the last year. Advocacy is indeed a team sport,...
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: During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama acknowledged the important role federally funded research plays in maintaining our global competitive edge and referenced the harm done to basic science by sequestration. Using the example of vaccines, he highlighted the importance of applied research, not only for our health but for the strength of our economy. See my statement about the address here . For the president to succeed in achieving a ’€œbreakthrough year for America’€ ’€” a theme in his address that he is repeating in appearances across the nation ’€” we urge him to put science and innovation at the forefront. I emphasized this in a letter...
Dear Research Advocate: Anticipating the 2014 State of the Union address next Tuesday evening, I have been searching for the right descriptor ’€” the union is ’€œin a state of resignation’€? ’€œThe state of the union is not as bad as it could be’€? ’€œThe union is in a state that falls short of its potential’€? ’€œThe Americans forming this union are in a state of disappointment regarding their elected leaders’€? A headline from The Washington Post last week addresses the latter point: ’€œCongratulations on your budget, Congress. America still hates you,’€ i.e. no uptick for those low ratings for congresspersons of either party! The president’€™s rating with the public is a bit better...
President Barack Obama unveiled the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative on Tuesday. Described in a White House press release as one of the administration’€™s ’€œGrand Challenges,’€ the goal of the initiative is to bring private and public sector research together to accelerate the development and application of technology and research into the function of complex neural networks. President Obama laid the ground work for today’€™s announcement during his State of the Union address in January, calling for an increased investment in research to achieve ’€œa level of research and development not seen since the height of the space race.’€ The...
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...