The American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) joined with nine other scientific organizations to conduct a briefing for congressional policymakers on the economic returns resulting from federal government funding for scientific research and development (R&D).

The briefing, “Research That Pays Off: The Economic Benefits of Federally Funded R&D” was held on 16 March 2012.

The briefing featured an impressive panel of experts speaking about the economic and societal benefits associated with federally funded research. Simon Tripp, senior director of the Technology Partnership Practice at Battelle Memorial Institute, explained how the $3.8 billion, 13 year Human Genome Project has spurred an estimated $796 billion in economic outputs. Dr. Fred Block, a professor of sociology at the University of California at Davis, described how long-term economic growth is fueled by research and development. Despite the benefits of science, however, Block noted that government spending on R&D is declining. Dr. Kate Hunt, R&D director at the Dow Chemical Company, emphasized the need for collaboration among the government, private industry, and academics. The event was moderated by Vijay Vaitheeswaran, a correspondent for The Economist.

The briefing was sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geosciences Institute, American Geophysical Union, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Sociological Association, American Statistical Association, Geological Society of America, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

A video of the briefing is available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6y_P2vUfg&feature=youtu.be.

 


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