The weekend of September 7-9, 2012, marked the beginning of a new initiative spearheaded by FasterCures and the Milken Institute. More than 1,000 leaders from across the scientific and policy communities convened in Washington for the Celebration of Science to reaffirm America's commitment, especially in bioscience. Even in the midst of a heated election cycle, prominent leaders from both sides of the political aisle stood together for this common cause. Thanks to everyone's active participation, we accomplished several objectives:
- Demonstrating that America, having benefitted greatly in terms of health and wealth from past investments in bioscience, has reached a turning point – the potential for future returns is even higher if we recommit the nation now;
- Bringing together a bipartisan group of government leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate and the Administration who showed their support;
- Validating the career choices of students who chose to pursue a life in science;
- Highlighting the crucial role of patients and patient-focused organizations;
- Increasing awareness and understanding of the missions of American health and science agencies – including the NIH, FDA and NSF;
- Encouraging a more productive dialogue among groups in government, private industry and academic science centers;
- Providing a 360-degree view of basic, translational and clinical science – America’s No. 1 source of economic growth; and
- Showing that the benefits of U.S. investment in bioscience don’t stop at the border. The advances emerging from American laboratories are some of our best ambassadors throughout the world. Their impact is greater than all past foreign aid.
The weekend included panels and presentations at George Washington University, a full day of activities at the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health and a FasterCures working meeting on accelerating innovation in the biosciences. Saturday night, September 8, was a special evening at the Kennedy Center honoring major contributions to science.
The Celebration weekend created excitement about what the future might hold if we support science. Now it’s time to translate support into results. FasterCures and the Milken Institute will continue that work - and continue the dialogue among senior decision-makers in government, industry, philanthropy and academia.
FasterCures, the Milken Institute's Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, is a nonprofit think tank and catalyst for action that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise – so that we can speed up the time it takes to get important new medicines from discovery to patients. Our name is our mission. For more information, visit www.fastercures.org. For information about our Board of Directors, click here.
About the Milken Institute
A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank, the Milken Institute believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges. Its mission is to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital and enhance health. www.milkeninstitute.org.