Monday, March 24, 2014

Support for science funding

We can't all go to D.C. (or other governmental centers) and meet with our legislators, the way Becky and I did a few weeks back, but we can all make our voices heard.

Congress is working now, through the end of the month, on the next year's budget for various agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. These agencies are responsible for funding a great deal of basic science research, the sort of work that won't get done unless the government funds it.

You probably know that this sort of research has been hampered by governmental cutbacks since the recession, and also that XLH research, in particular, was on a promising path since the discovery of FGF23 shortly before the recession, but research had slowed due to NIH/NSF funding cuts, and there's a great deal more to learn about FGF23 and XLH.

I wouldn't know what to ask for when it comes to funding research, but fortunately there's FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology), which is a coalition of biomedical researchers and scientific societies, "recognized as the policy voice of biological and biomedical researchers," and they do know what to recommend. They're recommending a number that, while huge for individuals or even mega-corporations, is actually quite modest in the context of the federal government budget. Their recommendation is $32 billion for NIH and $7.6 billion for NSF, which would restore the funding that was cut from prior years' budgets and get us back on the path to sustained scientific research.

You don't need to remember all that, or even figure out who to call or write to. The ASBMR (American Society of Bone and Mineral Research) has made it easy for U.S. citizens to send a form letter (or edit it as you wish) by going here . All you have to do is fill in your name and contact information, and then hit Send. If you have friends and family who are concerned about adequate government funding for basic science research, feel free to pass along the link, so they can contact their legislators too.

Just remember: now's the time to act, if you want your legislator to meet the end-of-month deadline for supporting science research.

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