Columbus, Miss., native William Pruett is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a father of two. He says he intends to communicate how funding scientific research will help keep America competitive. "In a time of severe fiscal challenges at every level in our country, I think it's important that the people in power don't forget that the American scientist played a big part in putting the United States in a position of power in the world and still shoulders much of the responsibility for keeping us there," he says.
Meanwhile, Kelly Ruggles, a graduate student at Columbia University, emphasizes that investigators conducting basic biological research "know that in these austere economic times future funding is not a guarantee." She says she expects the Hill Day event will be educational for students and policymakers alike.
"I expect it will provide me with the knowledge and skills to continue policy work in the future and encourage my colleagues to do the same. It will give me the knowledge of the inner-workings of policy development, as well as a view of the commitment our senators and representatives have to funding scientific research in the long-term," the Wantagh, N.Y., native explains. "In the end, I believe that what I gain from this experience will not only exceed my expectations, but it will also give me insights, ideas, and skills that I did not even anticipate."
Rob Watkins of
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American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology