Senate appropriations committee recognizes the importance of innovation in the U.S.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, started the “Driving Innovation through Federal Investments” hearing saying that funding innovative research is of huge importance to the U.S. Supporting this statement, Mikulski pointed out that 138 pieces of written testimony, including one from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, were submitted prior to the hearing, demonstrating the…

Training the future generation of scientists for non-academic careers

An often eye-opening fact is that less than 25 percent of trained Ph.D.s obtain tenure-track faculty positions. However, little is done in academia to train these graduate students and postdocs for careers outside of academia. The National Institutes of Health addressed this issue in the Biomedical Workforce Report and generated a new funding program through…

Nobel Prize winners talk culture of U.S. science

National Public Radio’s show “On Point” hosted by Tom Ashbrook interviewed Nobel Prize winners James Rothman and Arieh Warshel and Cold Spring Harbor President Bruce Stillman about the state of basic science in the U.S. The overarching theme during the radio program was similar to the sentiment of most scientists in the U.S. as demonstrated…

What makes DARPA so special?

On Jan. 7 at a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, officials from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, known as DARPA, presented what they believed were the characteristics of this defense-oriented research agency that have allowed it to innovate and succeed over it’s decades-long history. Skeptical, PCAST members questioned DARPA officials about the true source of DARPA’s perceived success.

Hearing on innovation offers divergent perspectives

On Oct. 8, in testimony before the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Research and Science Education Subcommittee, prominent witnesses from the scientific community expressed differing views about how the federal government can foster scientific innovation. While witnesses and subcommittee members agreed that supporting “high-risk, high-reward” research was important, there was little consensus about the best mechanisms to encourage groundbreaking science.