Ned Shaw

Congress and the Bush administration--the same lawmakers who say that they want to spur healthier and longer lives for all Americans and economic growth through the harvest of our medical and health research enterprises--have proposed a historically low FY04 budget increase for the National Institutes of Health. As returns on recent research investments emerge, momentum could be slowed or dismantled by curtailed support for the NIH budget. Those of us who understand the central role that research plays in the well-being of our nation have a narrow window in which to act. When scientists speak, lawmakers listen. And scientists must speak now.

While it is true that in deficit times it becomes necessary to tighten the nation's economic belt, nothing could be more destructive than reducing our commitment to medical research funding. It's convenient to believe that all individual scientists need do in respect to public policy is...

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