Uncle Sam: Scientist

During the past century, America reached the pinnacle of science and technology, thanks in no small measure to its immigrant spirit, diversity and genius for innovation. Today, however, Uncle Sam's position of strength can no longer be taken for granted, warn scientists like Vanderbilt's Ellen Wright Clayton.  read article

Canary in the research lab

There are ominous signs that all is not well in the nation’s biomedical research enterprise.
Thanks to five years of flat budgets at the National Institutes of Health, which supports the bulk of basic biomedical research in the United States, young scientists increasingly are leaving university research labs or are leaving science altogether.   read article

The new Oz

A new biomedical research metropolis in southern Singapore, dubbed a “scientific Emerald City,” is attracting scientists from around the world. While not a flood, it raises concerns about an American “brain drain.”  read article

It’s not all about science

Vanderbilt’s Bill Stead worries that the United States is “drifting towards … a whole series of national-scale crises,” not only in health care, but in education, infrastructure, energy and the environment. “It’s not all about science,” he says. “It’s a much broader cultural problem… as a society we’ve really lost our ability to do anything important.”  read article

Needed: a quantum leap

Ask scientists how to revitalize the nation’s biomedical research enterprise, and they will give many answers: stop “yo-yo” funding of research, partner more with industry, invest in education. Ultimately what’s needed, they say, is leadership.  read article

Challenge and opportunity

Even at this time of economic adversity, we must clearly articulate the importance of biomedical research for advancing human health – and for the vitality of our nation, writes Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs.  read article

The case for serendipity

Progress in biomedical science owes much to serendipity. Basic research, or the simple curiosity about how things work, has led to many of the discoveries that have transformed health, medicine, and our understanding of human disease. Here is Lens magazine’s list of the “top 10” discoveries in biomedical science in the 20th century.  read article

“Big science” in the balance

While the federal government funds the lion’s share of biomedical research in the United States, there is concern that a predilection for “big science” projects may actually weaken rather than strengthen the potential for discovery.  read article

One student’s story

Q-vaughnia Hornbeck aspired to be a dentist. Then she enrolled in the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, and “everything changed.” The high school senior now plans to become a neuroscientist.  read article