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Category: Ben’s Soapbox

Biomedical research deserves funding, not gimmicks ?>

Biomedical research deserves funding, not gimmicks

The American biomedical research enterprise is a national treasure. As such, biomedical research broadly, and the National Institutes of Health specifically, should be funded as a national priority. Sadly, as we enter the fiscal 2017 budget season, President Obama has proposed budget gimmickry over sustained investments, and the community should flatly reject this proposal. Yesterday, Obama released his eighth and final budget, and, among other things, called for a nearly $1 billion increase to the NIH. However, this proposal comes…

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The harsh realities of increasing the NIH budget ?>

The harsh realities of increasing the NIH budget

Ben Corb explores proposed budgetary increases to the National Institute of Health and if they have any chance of becoming reality. So while we support and truly appreciate the spirit of these spending bills as it relates to seeing the value and putting a priority on investments in biomedical research, we should underscore to policy makers that budgetary policy need not be a zero-sum game. The spending caps established by Congress are a self-inflicted wound. If Congress would spend time…

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If this isn't war, then now peace concerns me ?>

If this isn't war, then now peace concerns me

Earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, penned an op-ed for Politico titled, “No, the GOP Is Not at War With Science.” It is an eye-catching title for a science policy advocate like myself who is looking to read the tea leaves on what this new Congress will be like

CRomnibus: there's more there than dollars ?>

CRomnibus: there's more there than dollars

Many of us have focused on the bottom line of H.R. 83, the fiscal 2015 continuing resolution-omnibus (CRomnibus) funding package, which the U.S. House passed last night. Science funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation received modest funding increases.

Happy Thanksgiving ?>

Happy Thanksgiving

Photo credit:  sciencecareers.sciencemag.org As many of us will spend the next few days traveling, sitting down and eating turkey and fixings and spending time with family and friends for Thanksgiving

Shrinking the role of government is hurting science ?>

Shrinking the role of government is hurting science

Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., released his 2014 Wastebook, an annual report on government spending that Coburn deems wasteful, largely because, on the surface, the projects sound like silly ways to spend federal dollars. This year’s version—the last due to Coburn’s retirement at the adjournment of this Congress—follows a rather typical path

Has NIH caught Ebola fever? ?>

Has NIH caught Ebola fever?

Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health, has been one of the best advocates for the NIH I have ever seen. His ability to easily maneuver from one NIH research topic to another during budget hearings has been truly artful at times. While his guitar playing has driven me personally crazy (When was the last time secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel used a banjo to sing about their budget woes?), it has been an effective…

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