publication date: Jun. 13, 2014


By Brian Druker

We are facing a disturbing paradox in science. We have unprecedented potential for advancements spurred by current technologies. But at the same time we are confronting flat to declining funding.

This climate provides a unique opportunity to examine and improve how we fund research.

In this article, I will offer some personal perspectives on the current state of biomedical research, peer review, and our own efforts to implement change.

We are challenged by the continued stagnation of funding for biomedical research. Although we may recognize this as likely, we should not stop advocating for continued or even increased funding of research. Our arguments are strong. From an economic point of view, we know the return on investment in biomedical research is high. We can also emphasize that careers in scientific research are exactly the kind of jobs we want in the U.S. The third and most effective argument is that our research impacts human lives. But if we make this argument, we must be prepared to deliver on our promises as we will be held to them. This means setting goals and focusing on outcomes. To be successful at obtaining additional funding, our goals must be aspirational, but at the same time achievable and realistic.

If we contend that our research improves health, this by definition means we have to support translational research. This doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t fund basic research. As someone whose work was critically dependent on a solid foundation of basic research and as someone who has consistently said that the best translation comes from the … Continue reading 40-24 Guest Editorial: Accelerating the Pace of Scientific Progress

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