Coalition to Promote Research


 

Member Organizations 

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"NSF's mission mandates attention to the entire spectrum of science. Emphasizing some sciences at the expense of others handicaps discovery and compromises innovation."

NSF Director Subra Suresh, PCAST, 1/7/11

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"Clearly, drug addiction is a serious problem facing our country, and finding new medical treatments is a high priority," NIH director Francis Collins tells me. "I don't know if the critics want us to experiment with humans, or just give up on the problem of drug addiction, but we aren't going to do either."

NIH Director Francis Collins, 8/5/2010

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“We are all sick because of AIDS - and we are all tested by this crisis. It is a test not only of our willingness torespond, but of our ability to look past the artificial divisions and debates that have often shaped that response. When you go to places like Africa and you see this problem up close, you realize that it's not a question of either treatment or prevention – or even what kind of prevention – it is all of the above. It is not an issue of either science or values – it is both. Yes, there must be more money spent on this disease. Bu there must also be a change in hearts and minds, in cultures and attitudes. Neither philanthropist nor scientist, neither government nor church, can solve this problem on their own - AIDS must be an all-hands-on-deck effort.”

Barack Obama, World AIDS Day Speech, Lake Forest, CA, Dec. 11, 2006

“When you look at a cursory examination of the title or an abstract [of a grant] you don’t have an idea. That’s why we have peer review...Prohibiting specific grants sets a dangerous precedent for scientific research that has progressed and advanced for decades through freedom of inquiry into a broad spectrum of subjects…second guessing peer-review in this way could compromise the fabric of our public research enterprise one thread at a time.”

Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Chairman of the House Science Committee’s Basic Research Subcommittee on the House floor, May 2, 2007

 

"De-funding meritorious grants on the floor of Congress is unjustified scientific censorship. It undermines the historical strength of American science which is based on our world renowned, apolitical and transparent peer review process."     

  NIH Director Elias Zerhouni 6/23/05

 

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"When we looked at the public-health relevance, there was no question that these projects should have been funded and should continue to be funded."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1/13/04

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"I strongly urge the Members to resist the temptation to select a few grants for defunding because they do not like the sound of them based on one paragraph out of what probably was a number of pages of information. It would set a dangerous precedent and put a chill on medical research if we start to micromanage individual NIH grants.  

     This has worked well over the years. We have had enormous progress because of these grants in achieving medical knowledge and giving the public a better health care system. I do not think this body, this committee, wants to get into the process of reviewing 120,000 grants and trying to pick 40,000 out of that group for funding."

Rep. Ralph Regula -- Chairman, House

Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee,

 House floor July 11, 2003

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"I have served on the subcommittee that deals with NIH for a long time, and the one thing I came to understand very quickly is that the day that we politicize NIH research, the day we decide which grants are going to be approved on the basis of a 10-minute horseback debate in the House of Representatives with 434 of the 435 Members in this place who do not even know what the grant is, that is the day we will ruin science research in this country. We have no business making political judgments about those kinds of issues."

Rep. David Obey -- Ranking Member, House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, House floor July 11, 2003

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"When you look at the impact of sexually transmitted disease, you're talking about HIV/AIDS and many others that affect millions of people and their reproductive lives."

NIH Director Elias Zerhouni

USA Today, Jan. 13, 2004

 

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"Decisions about medical research should be made by scientists, not by politicians promoting an ideological agenda.

Democratic House Leader

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, July 2003

 

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"Here we have people saying, 'I don't like how that disease was contracted, so I don't  want to study that disease.' It's equivalent to sticking your head in the sand. It's very important that the scientific community rises up and objects to the imposition of ideology in these areas."

 

Alan Leshner, President  and CEO, AAAS, Washington Post, 1/19/04

 

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“Obviously, in areas such as HIV/AIDS, it’s a sexually-transmitted disease, it’s a disease that is transmitted by injection drug use, by a variety of other mechanisms . . . we cannot avoid addressing the issues that are at the very foundation of why millions and millions of people are getting infected. 

Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, June 2, 2004

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"Central to the NIH peer-review process is objective evaluation based on a proposal's scientific merit. . . Many would argue that it is the scientific objectivity of this process and the fact that scientists -- not politicians, political appointees, advocacy groups, or lobbyists -- who decide what gets funded, that is in large part responsible for the nation's world leadership in science."

 

 Rep. John Edward Porter -- Former Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in JAMA September 21, 2005.

 

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For more information about the Coalition contact:

 

Angela Sharpe (COSSA) at alsharpe@cossa.org, (202) 842-3525

 

or           

 

Karen Studwell (APA)) at kstudwell@apa.org, (202) 336-5585

 

 

 

 

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee (minority)

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             CONTACT: Press office

Friday, Sept. 25, 2009                                                                                          (202) 225-3641

 

Barton, Walden Ask NIH for Details of Money Spent On Questionable Studies

                                                                                                

Studies like 'Patterns of Drug Use and Abuse in the Brazilian Rave Culture' don't seem to fit within urgent public health issues facing the NIH, lawmakers say

 

WASHINGTON - U.S. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Greg Walden, R-Ore., ranking member of the committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, this week wrote to Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, questioning some of the grants that NIH has funded.

 

Congress appropriates between $25 and 30 billion a year each year to the NIH. While funding for NIH has remained steady, the number of grant requests has increased in the past few years. In 2004, 24.6 percent of grant applications submitted to NIH received funding. By 2008, that number had shrunk to 21.8 percent.

 

With that in mind, Barton and Walden are puzzled by  some of the grants that were approved: "Impact of Dragon Boat Racing on Cancer Survivorship"; "Substance Use and HIV Risk Among Thai Women"; "The Healing of the Canoe"; "Patterns of Drug Use and Abuse in the Brazilian Rave Culture".

 

"We do not doubt that there may be some degree of scientific benefit to be gained from these studies," Barton and Walden wrote. "However, given the number of urgent public health issues facing the NIH, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and pandemic disease, we question how peer review panels determined these projects to have 'high scientific caliber' and how they are particularly relevant to the NIH Institute and Center research priorities."

 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

 

For the Fox News piece on the NIH grants, click here.

 

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Last updated: July 28, 2009