The Black Hole is extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Jonathan Thon to its team of regular bloggers. Jonathan approached us last month to publish a series of articles on building a better support structure for young biomedical scientists in Canada which will be published here in four parts over the coming weeks. As this is right up our alley, we were happy to oblige and look forward to getting his thoughts out to our readers. He has also brought along some great ideas for bolstering the utility of the site that we hope to roll out in the coming months. We hope that our readers will make him feel welcome and encourage him to keep contributing in the coming months.
Making the Case for Increased Federal Support of Biomedical Research
National health research funding bodies in North America sustain a high number of clinical advances, drug developments and cures proportional ((Exceptional returns: the economic value of America’s investment in medical research. 2000. and Murphy K., Topel, R. The economic value of medical research.. 1999.)); however, they cannot lobby for themselves and scientists must take up this challenge to make the case to governments for their support. As countries work to identify strategies to reduce their long-term deficits, it is imperative that governments protect, prioritize and strengthen federal investments in education, basic scientific research, and technological development, which are essential to creating economic opportunity and job growth. Although targeted spending reductions are a necessary component of long-term deficit reduction, a balanced budget cannot be achieved solely through cuts to domestic discretionary expenditures. Imprudent reductions to programs that contribute directly to economic growth undermine long-term debt reduction. Biomedical research has a demonstrated high level of return on investment, creates jobs, and result in innovations that lead to new technologies, new industries, and new companies. This type of productivity and record of achievement should be encouraged. Over the next few months this series of posts will highlight the importance of advocacy for increased federal support of national biomedical research institutes, and provide a framework for scientists to make this case to government.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. ~Winston Churchill