Home » Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter » Clarion Call for R&D Investment

Clarion Call for R&D Investment

Dear Research Advocate,

No one nation now leads the world in all aspects of science and engineering. This point was emphasized today by Julia Phillips, PhD, Chair of the NSB Committee on National Science and Engineering Policy, in a presentation on The State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2022 report. Dr. Phillips underscored how competitiveness going forward relies on making several strategic decisions, including investing much more in fostering underserved talent, and doing more to develop critical and emerging technologies.

Catching my eye in the report itself were the lagging indicators on U.S. STEM education; a welcome new broader definition of the STEM workforce; and the dramatic increase, from 2010-2019, in China’s R&D growth by 10.6% annually, compared to 5.4% annually for the U.S. (AAAS provides some key takeaways.)

The report is a clarion call to U.S. decision-makers to accelerate our S&T investment as recommended in the Science & Technology Action Plan.

On the Hill: Despite significant threats to our nation’s R&D leadership, Congress and the Administration have not yet been able to coalesce around an FY22 appropriations package. It’s been 111 days since the official deadline for establishing a new budget for FY22. Use this editable email to contact your Members of Congress, urging them to push for action now.

Positive News on Pandemic Response: There appears to be continued bipartisan momentum to advance a supplemental spending package that responds to the havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time for Congress and the Administration to treat pandemic preparedness as part of pandemic response and allocate supplemental funding to quick-start key pandemic preparedness strategies.

Prior to yesterday’s House Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process hearing on pandemic and disaster preparedness, we sent comments to each subcommittee member citing examples of high impact preparedness actions that can and should be taken now.

Psychological Impact of COVID-19: Does anyone doubt the psychological impact of COVID? Learning from those at the front lines of the relevant science is yours to engage. The Association of Psychological Science is hosting a panel on “Psychology Meets Biology in COVID-19: What We Know and Why It Matters for Public Health.” The panel will look in particular at health disparities. Register for the Friday, January 21, noon – 2:30 ET discussion.

Strengthening Health Systems: The World Economic Forum’s annual Davos Conference concludes tomorrow. As part of the event, WEF outlined “5 ways to strengthen our health systems for the future,” highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global health care conversation and created new urgency and will to build stronger, more connected, more resilient health systems. One example: the value of diagnostics!

Building Future Preparedness,” is a WEF discussion that will air live on Friday, January 21, from 9 – 9:45 a.m. ET (no sign-up required; all conference sessions are archived and free-to-stream).

ICYMI: Watch our discussion with Sue Peschin, MHS, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research. An advocacy and thought leader in the aging policy ecosystem, Sue provided compelling insights on the top challenges aging members of society face in addition to COVID-19. She also talked about how advocacy has evolved over time to include a greater voice for patient groups and individual patients.

Upcoming Alliance Member Meeting: If your organization is an alliance member, join us on Tuesday, January 25, at 11:30 a.m. for a members-only conversation with Michael Lauer, MD, Deputy Director for Extramural Research at NIH. We’ve asked Dr. Lauer to address such topics as the continuing impact of COVID-19 on extramural research, workforce diversity, and research security. As always, we will reserve time for your questions and comments.

Contact us to learn more about membership and join us for future alliance member-only meetings.

Become a Research!American!: Our Careers page lists several openings. Thank you in advance for spreading the word and sharing this link to all our open positions.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay connected.

Mary Woolley