Blog

Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Member organizations and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to public and private sector research and innovation, and public health. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of Research!America.

Recent Blog Posts

Dear Research Advocate, Earlier today, the Senate passed legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution or “CR,” extending government funding to midnight November 21, 2019. The President is expected to sign the legislation before the end of Fiscal Year 2019, September 30. That means Congress has seven-plus additional weeks to reach an agreement. The problem is that CRs stall progress, and one CR is more than enough! We are launching a campaign to urge Congress to reach a bipartisan agreement by or before November 21st that will ensure robust scientific, health, and medical research funding for all of Fiscal Year 2020. Visit our action page and send an email and/or Tweet to make the case for...
Dear Research Advocate, This week was chock-full of federal appropriations activity bearing on the future of research, and ultimately, the future of health. While agency funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is far from resolved, some very positive and not-so-positive steps were taken by Congress. First, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its long-awaited Labor/HHS bill. The exciting headline is that NIH received a vital $3 billion increase, which, if enacted, would bring its total funding to $42.08 billion. The CDC, meanwhile, would receive an increase of only $180 million for a total budget of $7.46 billion. This increase is woefully insufficient to enable CDC’s 24/7 vigilance and...
Civic engagement is a critical skill set for scientists. It creates an opportunity to take part in our democracy at any career stage while contributing a much-needed scientific perspective to important issues facing our communities and nation. Scientific research is heavily dependent on public funding with almost 50% of support for basic research coming from the federal government. But did you know STEM students are the student population with the lowest voter turnout? Knowing how to dialogue with policymakers and the public is vital to strengthening research as a national priority. Early career scientists may not know where to begin, but there are a host of ways to get involved...
Dear Research Advocate, There was great excitement among advocates this week when rumors began swirling that the Senate “Labor HHS” bill may include a $3B increase for NIH. However, it is unclear whether this funding level will hold and what the bill provides for other key health and research priorities. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee postponed consideration of two funding bills, including Labor-HHS. Congressional Leaders may seek passage of a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) that prevents a government shutdown but freezes the federal government in place while the House and Senate try to finalize FY20 funding. While a CR is better than a government shutdown on October...
National Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, 2019. 800,000 individuals die worldwide due to suicide every year, and suicide costs Americans an estimated $50.8 billion in lifetime medical and work-loss cuts annually. The total economic burden from suicide and self-inflicted injuries was estimated to be over $70 billion annually. ( Fact Sheet ) Research!America explored the issue of suicide prevention in its January 2019 national public opinion survey. A strong majority (68%) agreed that it was "very important" or "somewhat important" for the U.S. to invest public dollars in the prevention of suicide. This is consistent with our survey data from 2015, although it is down from 2006, when...
Dear Research Advocate, I’m writing early this week to remind those of you who won’t be joining us in person that you can join our National Research Forum tomorrow, Thursday, via livestream. See more information at the end of this letter. Political theater isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I have always enjoyed it, from the Greeks to Hamilton. A remarkable, multiple-award-winning play, “What the Constitution Means to Me” will open soon at the Kennedy Center after a successful run on Broadway, and will soon head to the West Coast. I highly recommend it. Written several years ago by Heidi Schreck, who is also the lead, the work brings out the good news – and the complicated and ever-evolving...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Robert Shalett, Research!America’s Director of Communications. Critical to Research!America’s mission is to encourage researchers to talk about their work. It is important for non-scientists to know how research and scientific discovery support all Americans in our daily lives, from professional settings to at home. Our survey data indicates that the public thinks it is important for scientists to discuss their research and its impact. But that is only part of it. Effective advocacy campaigns require focused, sustained effort. This is why your voice is needed right now. As my colleague Ellie mentioned last week, the hard-fought lifting...
Dear Research Advocate, Our guest author this week is Ellie Dehoney, Research!America’s Vice President of Policy and Advocacy. Ten years ago this month, Dr. Francis Collins became the 16th Director of the National Institutes of Health. The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, of which Research!America is a member, sent a letter to Dr. Collins congratulating and thanking him for his remarkable service, achievements and impact. Our latest web resource highlights the history, progress, and promise of the groundbreaking research NIH conducts and supports. Funding for NIH and our nation’s other science agencies hinges on timely congressional action, and on you. Don’t wait to advocate. Hard-won...
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...
On July 24, 2019, the Senate NIH Caucus sponsored a briefing on the NIH BRAIN Initiative , showcasing just one of the many areas in which the NIH is leading cutting-edge research efforts to improve human health. The BRAIN Initiative was established in 2013 with the goal of developing innovative new technologies and applying them to better understand how the brain works, and ultimately, how we can treat, cure and prevent brain diseases and disorders. The briefing was moderated by Debbie Forrest, President of the ACT for NIH Foundation . Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina , Co-Chairs of the Senate NIH Caucus, both expressed their support for NIH...

Pages

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln