Want a 4 minute explanation of the value of basic science research? Check out the winner of the Stand Up for Science Video Contest sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is important to remember that so many of the biggest achievements in modern medicine came about as side effects from research on a completely different topic. When asked whether the government should fund the development of a new treatment for diabetes or a study on how bacteria defend themselves, most people will choose the diabetes treatment. As the video clearly points out, though, studying how bacteria defend themselves has led to unexpected advances in many fields, including the treatment of diabetes. So next time you hear someone scoff at funding research on fruit flies, bear DNA, or duck genitalia, send them a link to this video.
Screen shot from ‘Funding Basic Science to Revolutionize Medicine’
You should also check out the other award winners for some fun facts on science funding – like the fact that life expectancy of an HIV+ person has increased from a few months in the 1980s to 50+ years now.