Inside Rensselaer
* Palazzo Urges U.S. Senators To  Support Academic Research Funding
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Palazzo Urges U.S. Senators To  Support Academic Research Funding
Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo met with a group of U.S. senators April 2 as part of a roundtable discussion about the importance of sustained funding for university-based research. Palazzo was one of several experts from academia invited to participate, including two university presidents and a Nobel laureate.

The panel was closed to the public, providing an opportunity for the group to have a candid conversation about the importance of scientific funding. The discussion was dedicated to two critical topics: the need to increase federal support for the biomedical sciences and research to understand and reverse global climate change.

The panel was organized by The Science Coalition (TSC), a group of research universities, organizations, and scientists dedicated to expanding opportunities for university-based research and sustaining U.S. leadership in basic scientific research. Rensselaer is a member of TSC.

The other TSC participants included William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins University; Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan; Nobel laureate Roger Kornberg, professor of structural biology at Stanford University; and research leaders and educators from MIT, the University of Maryland, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Palazzo emphasized the increasingly interdisciplinary direction of scientific research
and urged the senators
to support funding that fosters this type of collaboration and innovation,
highlighting examples of important research collaborations at Rensselaer.

Palazzo emphasized the increasingly interdisciplinary direction of scientific research and urged the senators to support funding that fosters this type of collaboration and innovation, highlighting examples of important research collaborations at Rensselaer. He also discussed the need to increase National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding, which has remained virtually static for the past five years. This lack of new funding has decreased opportunities for up-and-coming researchers and discouraged innovation that can save and improve lives, he said.

The senators are members of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee, and the discussion was chaired by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). TSC will hold a similar panel discussion with Republican senators in the near future.

As part of the event, Palazzo also participated in a media roundtable designed to provide a substantive conversation with a small group of top-tier reporters who cover science, healthcare, and environmental policy, including reporters from NPR, Newsweek, and National Journal.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 7, April 18, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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