To treat innovation ills, remove funding roadblocks
Thursday, October 24, 2013
In 2013, the National Institutes of Health is estimated to have decreased expenditures by $1.7 billion. In the US, which is home to some of the finest scientists in the world, the work of even the very best researchers is in jeopardy. Scientific education programs are being cut back, and there is limited incentive for a new generation of scientists to undertake the years of training needed for success in our field. NIH Director Francis Collins has deemed the situation dire enough that 20,000 scientists could lose their jobs, a development he says could “[put] an entire generation of scientists at risk.”
We are losing ground in our ability to collaborate to make societal progress. Without adequate funding, the basic science that can change the health and lives of people the world over will dry up. The scientific achievement over the past two decades that has engendered new ways to address infection, cancer, cardiovascular disease and brain disorders will stall out. It is imperative that we continue to value – and fund – the enormous potential in that work, and the innovators who want nothing more than to bring it forward.