Great op ed piece for CNN by Claire Pomeroy and Eric Kandel about why budget cuts to medical research are incredibly debilitating for scientists and dangerous for the public. They hit on the point that even once (if) funding is restored, the effects of the slowdown (sequestration) will linger and further delay scientific progress. They also point out the problem my generation faces… that too many of us are leaving the field because there is no money and too much uncertainty. As a result, “This loss of human resources will take many years to replace” and thus, we will be even further behind in our progress.
The article concludes with the biggest danger of budget cuts: The loss of hope. “Many patients don’t have time to wait a few years for breakthroughs. Disease does not wait for an economic recovery.”
Too real. What’s perhaps most upsetting to me is that these types of articles have to be written. The smartest researchers, the dedicated scientists, the hardworking physicians instead of focusing on their work, are essentially forced to write oped pieces, bug their members of congress, speak out for their cause… which is really our cause.
It’s a bit ironic isn’t it? That we, medical researchers, are trying to convince people to give us funding, so we can conduct research, develop cures and therapies, and then go back and take care of those very same people?