American Academy of Arts & Sciences Brings Focus of Restoring the Foundation to Duke University

American Academy of Arts & Sciences

CAMBRIDGE, MA | FEBRUARY 17, 2015 – The American Academy of Arts & Sciences continues its dialogue with the key constituencies most deeply affected by its recent report,

Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream. 

The report, which seeks to restore and fortify American leadership in science, technology, and engineering, offers three imperatives for academia, government, and the private sector:

  • Secure America’s leadership in science and engineering research—especially basic research—by providing sustainable federal investment
  • Ensure that the American people receive the maximum benefit from federal investments in research
  • Regain America’s standing as an innovation leader by establishing a more robust national government-university-industry research partnership.

Duke University, recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in biomedical research and engineering, is hosting an important discussion on issues raised in Restoring the Foundation, as well as a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Bruce Alberts and his colleagues, specifically addressing “The Unstable Biomedical Research Ecosystem: How Can It Be Made More Robust?”

According to these and other publications, NIH-supported biomedical research at American universities is unsustainable, an unintended consequence of the rapid, albeit much needed, expansion of the NIH budget. Many expected such investment to continue, when instead the biomedical research budget stalled and then contracted. The resulting imbalance – an increasing supply of trained biomedical researchers pursuing a limited number of positions, as well as expanding academic laboratories seeking support from a finite funding pool – has imposed crippling strains on the biomedical research enterprise.

Restoring the Foundation was produced by the American Academy’s Committee on New Models for U.S. Science & Technology Policy. Two of its members, Nancy C. Andrews and Mark Fishman, will help lead the discussion to further develop ideas from the report and promote implementation of the recommendations.



Nancy C. Andrews

Dean, Duke University School of Medicine and

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Tania Baker

E.C. Whitehead Professor of Biology,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Mark Fishman

President, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Sally Kornbluth

Provost, Duke University

Harold Varmus

Director, National Cancer Institute

Susan Wente

Provost, Vanderbilt University


Additional Remarks from:

Jonathan F. Fanton

President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Richard H. Brodhead

President, Duke University

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