Scientists' Aid Research!America, an Alexandria, Va.-based national nonprofit advocacy group for biomedical research, is branching out to the states, attempting to form grass-roots support for increased federal funding. Officials of the organization are pleased with the programs' progress: Opinion polls consistently show that the public supports increased biomedical research funding. But they also maintain that the programs could use more help from scientists themselves.

OPEN EYES: Student meet scientists in a special North Carolina program.
Four states-Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Kentucky-have established programs that vary in size and makeup, though the underlying message of supporting biomedical research remains unchanged. These public-awareness efforts basically consist of public-opinion polls, educational initiatives, letter-writing campaigns, and speakers' bureaus. According to Research! America president Mary Woolley, the goal of the state programs is "to get closer to the public in terms of grass-roots advocacy for research."

Research!America began in 1989 when several "influential...

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