Discovery science essential to America's progress

Monday, June 12, 2017
The Journal Gazette

Hudson Freeze (June 2) is right – there is too much at stake in terms of health threats from Alzheimer's to zika to put on the brakes in support of research and innovation.

Freeze's discovery of the Taq bacteria, which led to the development of today's vaccines and breakthrough treatments, is one of many extraordinary examples of how federally funded research pays off over and over again. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump's proposed fiscal year 2018 budget severely cuts research critical to national security and better health in order to ramp up the defense budget. Ironically, it is not possible to have a strong national defense without the medical and health research that will ensure the military can recruit healthy volunteers and properly care for wounded warriors. It all starts with basic, discovery science.

A strong majority of Americans (64 percent), across party lines, agree that federal support for basic scientific research is necessary even if it brings no immediate benefits, according to a survey commissioned by Research!America. In order to spur the next technological or medical breakthrough, and to assure that we have a healthier nation, worthy of defending, more constituents in the Hoosier State and across the country must engage policymakers and speak up for science.

"Discovery science essential to America's progress," by Mary Woolley (The Journal Gazette, June 12, 2017)

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor