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Great Messaging, Great Advocacy

On The Hill: The House adjourned today while the Senate is continuing to press forward on an immigration and foreign assistance deal. Unfortunately, FY 24 appropriations will be among the unfinished business for the new year. In anticipation of the crunch to come January 8 when both chambers return from the holidays, we should all reach out to Congressional offices now – there is no better way than continued advocacy to assure a strong new year for science and innovation. 

This week’s #CuresNotCuts post sheds light on the many rare and neglected diseases still in need of treatments and cures. Share this post and our other #CuresNotCuts resources to stress to Congress how important it is to fund this critical research.

Realizing the Promise of Federal Investment: Last week, we mentioned that the Department of Commerce and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) are seeking input on a framework for marching in on technology transfer agreements that would undercut the medical progress pathway created by the landmark, bipartisan Bayh-Dole Act. Advocacy will be essential to protect technology transfer going forward. If you (like me) could benefit from a refresher on the role and impact of the Bayh-Dole Act, check out this terrific perspectives piece by Gabriella Athanasia posted on the Center for Strategic & International Studies. 

Investing in Our Future: Last week, we featured a report released by the nonpartisan Science and Technology Action Committee (STAC). This week, the report’s findings were featured in a Washington Post Live event, “The Future of American Innovation,” which you can catch here. During the event, I moderated a discussion with STAC co-chairs Keith Yamamoto and Bill Novelli, who discussed key messages from the report. A major takeaway: The need for the federal government to lead development of and fund a national strategy to guide robust S&T investments to assure continuing global competitiveness and a more prosperous, secure, and healthier future for all.

Investing in Engagement: Opportunities for scientists to learn how to effectively engage with the public are growing! In partnership with the Lasker Foundation, Research!America recently launched the product of a year-long project to map public engagement training for scientists across the U.S. With a database of over 350 initiatives (and counting) and the accompanying report, “Visualizing the Landscape of Training Initiatives for Scientists in Public Engagement in the United States,” this unique resource helps support efforts to normalize this much-in-demand training throughout graduate STEM programs. Take a look, learn from the experience of others, and let us know if we missed your work!  

Public engagement training can also assist scientists and medical professionals to become more adept at addressing misinformation. Research!America played a leadership role in the recent National Forum on Best Practices to Address Health Misinformation organized by the Research Triangle Institute, Duke University, and the Coalition for Trust in Health and Science.

Honing Your Message: The Association for Clinical and Translational Science is providing a unique opportunity to showcase research through the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Originally conceived by the University of Queensland, this competition is an excellent way to enhance your communication skills as you distill your work into a compelling three-minute presentation accessible to a non-specialist audience. Nominations are due by January 3.

Speaking of Effective Communication: Join us for our next alliance discussion on Wednesday, December 20, at 11 a.m. ET featuring Dr. Abraham Verghese, renowned author, Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Verghese will join me to discuss how his careers in medicine and authorship have shaped his outlook on the art and science of human connection.

Dr. Verghese is the recipient of Research!America’s 2024 Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for our 2024 Advocacy Awards on March 13, 2024, where we will be honoring Dr. Verghese and our other 2024 honorees.

Partner With Us: As you plan your year-end giving, please consider a gift to Research!America. With your support and partnership we can increase funding and strengthen policies to bolster U.S. science and technology, discovery, and innovation.