Losing our scientific edge

Marketplace Staff Mar 20, 2007
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Losing our scientific edge

Marketplace Staff Mar 20, 2007
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Yesterday, a group of prominent scientists warned that the U.S. is on the verge of losing its edge in biomedical research. They told a Senate committee the government hasn’t been putting enough money into scientific research and it’s starting to take its toll. Pat Loeb reports.


PAT LOEB: American science made huge strides in the treatment of cancer, AIDS and other diseases between 1998 and 2003, when funding for the National Institutes of Health doubled.

But since 2003, funding has been frozen. Dr. Brent Iverson of the University of Texas says the flat funding has far-reaching effects.

DR. BRENT IVERSON: We’re very concerned that we’re gonna lose out not only on the new ideas that may have been transformative, we’re also going to lose a generation of scientists who are just discouraged.

Iverson says the U.S. could begin losing ground to global competitors.

Kevin Casey of Harvard says, already, students are being drawn away from U.S. programs.

KEVIN CASEY: In these countries that have adopted life sciences as a focus for their economy — like China, Singapore, India — there is a much stronger magnetic pull and so there is a concern that that could have a long term impact.

The scientists urged senators to fund NIH at least enough to keep up with inflation.

I’m Pat Loeb for Marketplace.

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