Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) penned an op-ed inPOLITICO this week calling for more transparency and accountability in science agencies’ decision making. More transparency is a worthy goal and taxpayers are well served by it. What isn’t transparent in the op-ed piece is the grounds for which Paul and Smith make the assumption that more transparency will result in a pre-determined reordering of priorities for science. Calling for transparency in order to target specific grants or areas of research is not a way to assure either evidence-based policymaking nor scientific progress.
What will President Obama emphasize in his State of the Union address on Tuesday? Will medical progress make the list? I would like to think that remarks made by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell today are telegraphing the President’s message. She spoke about the importance of research and innovation at some length, emphasizing the promise of precision medicine, in particular. She said it’s in our children’s interest to make sure that medical innovations happen; it’s in our economy’s interest to make sure they happen here. Well said! You can share your priorities with the President for his speech via #SOTU2015. – From a weekly message from Research!America President Mary Woolley