The President’s proposed budget, reported in today’s Washington Post, “Trump budget seeks huge cuts to science and medical research, disease prevention,” is a blow to the science and medical community — and to all Americans. To give hope to young parents whose newborn has just been diagnosed with a rare disease, to make the breakthrough discoveries that are yet to be imagined, and to remain globally competitive, we simply must invest in science and medicine at appropriate levels. The President’s proposed budget puts all of this in jeopardy if it passes.
No one would argue that there are cuts that need to be made and work needs to be done to achieve greater efficiencies, but the drastic measures being proposed are short-sighted and have the potential to have huge ramifications for years to come.
As a public relations agency that works with numerous scientific and medical organizations, our clients are deeply concerned, and rightly so. People who work for these organizations have devoted their lives to what is often painstakingly laborious work that does not always see immediate rewards, but can pay big dividends down the road.
Take Robin Bell, the president-elect of the American Geophysical Union, who has studied the melting ice sheets in Antarctica and how it will affect the entire planet if we don’t take action. (For a fascinating, in-depth look at this issue, read the New York Times’ recent three-part series here.)
Or the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists whose members conduct research on novel ways to deliver drugs, which have important implications in the global health arena.
And just recently, our team returned from supporting the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Scientific Sessions, where interventional cardiologists unveiled late-breaking research about new treatments and therapies for cardiovascular disease, which continues to be one of the leading causes of death.
It’s not just scientists and clinicians who are concerned by the much-talked about proposed budget cuts. It is also affecting future generations, who are reconsidering whether a career in the sciences is worth pursuing. Early-career scientists are worried they may not have a job in the future. Bright young minds are re-evaluating their options in today’s climate of great uncertainty.
The bright light amidst all this turmoil is that people are talking — scientists, researchers, and clinicians are marching and they are mobilizing as they never have before. They are fighting for their beliefs, for their survival and for the fate of our planet and our future.
As a PR agency, we continue to do our part by working with our health and science clients to help them tell their amazing stories and spread the word about the important work they are doing. Because promoting the value of science and medicine not only is our profession, like our clients, it’s also our passion. We need to fight to continue to invest in science and medicine.
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