Friday, October 15, 2010

Americans Favor Federal Research Funding on Science and Medicine

Research!America commissioned a national poll which found most Americans (58%) would vote for a candidate who wanted higher federal spending on job creation and federal health research funding. 91% of Americans think research and development (R&D) is important to their state's economy, and 71% said investing in health research is important for job creation and economic recovery.

Despite strong public support for research funding, the poll found that 53% are not well informed about the views of their senators and representatives on medical, health and scientific research. Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America said:

Our poll findings show that Americans understand very clearly the connection between greater investment in research and economic growth and job creation, yet too few know their candidates' views on research. I urge all Americans to find out where their candidates stand on these important issues.

88% of Americans said it is important for Congress to work on a bipartisan basis to research to make health a top national priority. Research!America's chair, former Illinois Congressman John Edward Porter said:

Research investment is absolutely essential to America's future—for our health and our economy—and it's essential that candidates for Congress understand this. Each dollar invested in research produces more than double that amount in economic output. Americans deserve leaders in Congress who will work together to achieve sorely needed results for our nation's health and economic challenges today and in the future. Medical research, science and innovation are investments we simply cannot afford to postpone.

The poll also found:

  • 87% think a good use of tax dollars is military investment improving health for service members and veterans
  • 84% say the US should work to improve health globally through research and development
  • 88% think basic scientific research should be supported by the federal government
  • 87% say he US should adopt the aim of other countries to spend 3% of GDP on research and development
  • 74% say US competitiveness and future economic prosperity depends on education and training in science, technology, engineering and math
  • 84% say prevention and wellness reduce health care costs, and 77% say research helps solve these rising costs
  • 70% favor federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells
  • On balance, Americans favor speeding up the time it takes the US Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs: 42% say is too long, 12% say not long enough and 28% say it is about right.

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