Rescuing biomedical research over the next four years: A note from the director

The American biomedical research enterprise is an engine of innovation and economic growth. Over the past 70 years, this research engine has led to unparalleled improvements in human health and trained some of the best scientists in the world. To ensure continued successes in American biomedical research, Rescuing Biomedical Research is committed to preserving the excellent aspects of the research enterprise and recognizing and fixing many of the systemic flaws around training, communication, and diversity and inclusion, among others.

The recent election has left me wondering what “rescuing biomedical research” will mean over the next four years. President-elect Donald Trump ran a campaign that was highly divisive, made disparaging remarks about immigrants, women and minorities, and was highly critical of the federal government and the role it plays in the lives of Americans. After more than a week of watching how the Trump administration is shaping up, it seems likely the rhetoric of the campaign will form the basis of some of his administration’s policies.

To me, much of this campaign rhetoric was antithetical to the essence of a vibrant research enterprise. Attracting people to careers in research from diverse backgrounds and countries with diverse values and perspectives is required to solve the critical problems facing us today. Sustaining inclusive research environments requires strong federal science agencies that are guided by interactions with the research community.

In its brief time, Rescuing Biomedical Research has worked to improve the vibrancy of the biomedical research enterprise, and we will continue this work into the next administration. We will work to improve policies that recruit bright young scientists from all parts of the world. We will work to improve policies that promote diversity and inclusion in the research enterprise. We will work to improve policies that ensure the next generation of researchers is properly trained and educated. We will work to improve policies that enhance how the federal government administers American science. And we will oppose, and work to change, policies that limit the potential of the American research enterprise.

The views expressed here are not necessarily the views of all Rescuing Biomedical Research members.