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The Ice Road Truckers of Science and Why We Need Them [via The Hill]

In this opinion piece in The Hill, Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Brad Schwartz, CEO of the biomedical Morgridge Institute for Research in Madison, remind us of the importance of basic scientific research.

Research funding faces an uphill battle because it’s not easy to invest in something you can’t see or hold in your hands. But that’s exactly what we must do if we are to find cures for diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s…

…An environment that encourages curiosity-driven research is going to result in more discoveries. If our policy choices sacrifice the opportunity to make those discoveries, then we will become one of the nations that must figure out how to make someone else’s inventions cheaper, instead of leading the market by capitalizing on new knowledge. If this happens, we lose control; we no longer call the shots on economic opportunity.