Durbin: America Needs To Spend More On Science

Apr 8, 2015

Scientists who depend on federal funding for their research could find themselves on more secure ground in the future. 

Senator Dick Durbin met with researchers at Northern Illinois University Tuesday to talk about two proposals that would guarantee increases in research and development funding.

Senator Dick Durbin joins NIU President Doug Baker for a roundtable discussion of scientific research funding.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Durbin says America’s scientists and researchers are spending too much time worrying about funding, and that is costing the country in the long run. He says “budgetary cutbacks in research really cripple us in terms of economic development, new jobs, new businesses, and finding the things we need for a better life.”

Durbin says cuts in scientific research funding have put the U-S in a dangerous position: some of the nation’s most promising researchers are leaving the business…or the country.

“I worry that as we cut back in research, many of them just throw up their hands and say I can see China is making the investment, Europe is making the investment, but obviously, America is not prepared to.”

Durbin’s American Cures Act and American Innovation Act would increase funding by at least five percent per year for the country’s top biomedical and scientific research agencies. He says other lawmakers are introducing similar legislation, which is a good sign that some form of funding will pass.