On September 2nd, 2014, the newly reinstated North Carolina Triangle Chapter of the Society of Neuroscience hosted a town hall meeting with Congressman David Price (D-NC) to discuss the federal research funding crisis and science policy. Students, post-docs, faculty and research professionals from local universities and institutions, including Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) were in attendance. In his opening remarks, Congressman Price reminded everyone about the important role NIH-funded research plays in national, state and local economics. The Congressman, a long time supporter of science, was named a “Champion of Science” by the Science Coalition in 2002 and recognized as “Legislator of the Year” for 2010-2011 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
Congressman Price supports the effort to double funding for NIH over five years as a member of the U.S. House of Representative Appropriations Committee. During his discussion, Congressman Price shared his recent amendment proposal to increase funds for the National Science Foundation for the 2015 fiscal year. Unfortunately, the proposal was not adopted despite bipartisan support for scientific research.
Congressman Price concluded by emphasizing the need for a comprehensive fiscal plan to balance the budget, which includes increasing research funding. Taken together, Congressman Price’s remarks are the latest sign that Washington is at least aware that there is a research funding crisis.
Story by Tara Ann Cartwright, PhD
Article originally published in the November 2014 issue of The Triangle Transmitter