Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched Civics Forward. This was an opportunity to discuss the future of civic education, civic engagement, and civil discourse with leaders in business, education, and government. It also led to a discussion of preparing the next generation for the responsibilities they bear in democracy.
In the past few decades, the United States has posted declines in various measures of civic awareness and participation across generations. This lack of engagement has brought us to daily discourse at best and months of continuing resolutions (CRs) for funding at worst (The next CR expires on November 21.)
Mary Woolley, CEO/President of Research!America points out: “CRs certainly don’t favor Nobel Prize-level discoveries…(they) send a discouraging message to young scientists, in particular, about what level priority this nation places on science, i.e. something that can be put on hold. Young careers are fragile; our nation should be sending nextgen scientists messages of encouragement!” She encourages educational facilities to teach those in science to learn to communicate more effectively with the community and policy makers. With the announcement of the 2019 Nobel prizes next week and many members of Congress at home, this is an ideal time to advocate for your science.
As he did with the science community at the AAAS meeting last February, CEO Thomas Donahue challenged the business community to play a leading role in civic education. He emboldened us in science to share our aspirations with the business community by saying, “without science there is no innovation, and without innovation there is no industry.” In other words, we must depend on each other. This certainly fits in with Chief Research Officer (CRO), Randall Urban’s goals of more Commercialization, Biomedical Informatics and Collaboration for UTMB research.
As you look how to expand your research, look for those opportunities to collaborate and commercialize. We have seen several UTMB researchers excel at this. Attend the CRO offerings such as Research Quarterly Updates (Nov 19 and February 18, 2020) and Research Day (May 5, 2020) to learn more and meet those who have been successful.