January 2012

2012 through our crystal ball

After a dysfunctional 2011, 2012 may not be too different, as all 435 representatives and 33 senators are up for re-election. And then there’s that pesky 2012 presidential election. Fear not, biomedical community! The Public Affairs Office and Public Affairs Advisory Committee will work diligently all year to tackle the most important issues facing you all. Here’s a peek at some of the issues on our list:

Funding: Although the NIH budget over the past few years has been stable or modestly increased, when adjusted for infl ation, the NIH actually has been losing purchasing power for the past fi ve years. We will work with Congress to ensure strong support for funding at the NIH and other research-funding agencies and work with the NIH leadership, sharing our thoughts on how to increase the amount of investigator-initiated research being done even in a tightening fiscal environment.

Regulatory burden: We understand that increased regulation on research (be it in the usage of animals or the tracking of time) puts an unnecessary and frequently expensive burden on you, the researcher. We will work to identify ways Congress can ease the regulatory burden on the scientifi c community.

Workforce issues: With regard to issues such as Ph.D. training, K–12 science education, and immigration and student visa reform, we will search for ways to ensure there is a robust workforce pipeline to keep America a global leader in biomedical research.

Didn’t see an issue you want addressed? Looking for ways to get involved in shaping policy? Eager to learn more about the issues? Visit www.bit.ly/sUOe1L, read our blog (www.asbmbpolicy.wordpress.com), which is updated several times a week, or email us at publicaffairs@asbmb.org.

Benjamin-CorbBenjamin Corb (bcorb@asbmb.org) is director of public affairs at ASBMB.

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