weekly letter

Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. We are nearly a year out from the 2020 Presidential election and six months away from the Iowa caucuses. While candidates were meeting voters and sampling local treats at the Iowa State Fair, a new survey commissioned by Research!America and Science Debate was released, demonstrating a large majority of Iowans want presidential candidates to talk about science-related issues. Ninety percent believe it is important for the U.S. to be a leader in science and technology research. These survey results reveal a not-to-be missed opportunity for candidates to highlight the value of science and...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Gun violence is a fact of our lives, a relentless public health and safety threat punctuated by two horrific mass murders over the past seven days. The current appropriations process provides an opportunity to address one of the challenges impeding efforts to address this threat: gaps in the research needed to test assumptions and craft evidence-based solutions. Earlier this summer, the House passed $50 million for CDC and NIH-funded gun violence research as part of its Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-H appropriations bill. However, the fate of this funding is uncertain. Use...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. Earlier today, the Senate passed -- by a vote of 67-28, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 to raise the budget caps in Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 2021. As Senate Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) worked to round up the votes, Research!America sent a letter of support . The President is expected to sign the bill. Happily, this brings the threat of sequestration and massive discretionary spending cuts to an end. Your advocacy made a difference as you weighed in, time and time again, with your Members of Congress, exhorting them to...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Jenny Luray, Research!America’s Senior Advisor. Before traveling home for the August district work period, the House finally passed legislation to raise the budget caps by a vote of 284 - 149. Monday evening brought the welcome announcement that the White House and congressional leadership had reached a bipartisan, bicameral budget deal . The deal lifts the caps, increasing federal spending levels in FY2020 and FY2021, and also raises the debt ceiling. Specifically, the deal increases non-defense discretionary spending by $27 billion in FY20 and $2.5 billion in FY21. It prevents a $55 billion cut from occurring and instead bolsters the...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Some long-awaited, promising news regarding the budget caps: congressional leaders and the White House have agreed in principle on a deal that would raise the discretionary budget caps for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 and raise the debt limit sufficiently to avoid another “cliff” for at least two years. There are (as there always seem to be) caveats: the amount by which the caps would increase is not yet public, negotiations continue on such variables as offsets, and we don’t yet know how the deal will fare with other than those members of Congress in leadership roles...
Dear Research Advocate, For the remainder of the summer, we will have a series of guest authors writing Mary’s Weekly Letter. This week’s author is Mike Coburn, Research!America’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Members of Congress are back in town following the Fourth of July holiday, and talks are taking place between Congressional leaders and the Administration to resolve the issue of the budget. Complicating matters is the need for Congress to pass and the Administration to approve an increase in the debt limit. Research!America sent a letter to Congressional leaders and the White House urging swift action. While news reports indicate the Administration is...
Dear Research Advocate, “Not only is it important to ask questions and find the answers, as a scientist I felt obligated to communicate with the world what we were learning.” Stephen Hawking This apt quotation serves as the preface to a newly released survey from ScienceCounts and the Alan Alda Foundation for Communicating Science. Their findings, coupled with those reported a few weeks ago by SigmaXi and Research!America, signal recognition that if science is to thrive, scientists themselves must help make the case. Both surveys indicate that scientists are very willing to become engaged -- more so than ever before, in my experience! This week, members of Congress are back home, but not...
Dear Research Advocate, “June Gloom” is what the residents of Los Angeles call this past month’s weather. I was in California last week at the invitation of UC Riverside, which has, in addition to a robust portfolio of federally funded research, an inspiring commitment to the community. For the record, it wasn’t gloomy in Riverside, but then, the LA area is vast, and the overcast is closer to the ocean. There is a decent parallel here to the vastness of the landscape for support of research in Washington: the House passed two “minibus” appropriations packages this month that include significant increases for federal agencies that support research. This week we issued a statement about the...
Dear Research Advocate, Later today, I will participate on a panel at Aspen Ideas: Health to explore the implications of an ambitious new survey commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. The report , which was released yesterday in Washington, explores public attitudes on trust in science, gathered in a survey conducted in 140 countries. Overall, trust in science is linked strongly to education and income and also tracks with trust in governments and the military. The survey takes a deep dive on attitudes toward vaccines, with findings that appear to closely track our U.S. findings from last year. The findings in the report will help us better understand how individuals, both in the U.S. and...
Dear Research Advocate, The House is working to reach its goal of passing all twelve FY20 appropriations bills by the end of June, debating a “minibus” package of four of those bills this week, including the Labor, HHS, and Education funding bill that includes funding for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Next week, a second “minibus” package of appropriations bills will be on the House Floor, including funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (As time goes on without a budget cap resolution, it remains critical to do your part to assure a...

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Sidebar Quote

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