A study published Thursday in the journal Science highlights the value of government spending on research. It shows that one-third of U.S. patents rely on government-funded research. “Federal investment in scientific research fuels innovation, drives national and local economies, and secures United States’ place as a global leader,” Steve Gerencser, interim president of The Science Coalition and associate director of government relations at Brown University, tells STAT’s Brittany Flaherty.
But Flaherty notes that federal science funding as a percentage of GDP has steadily decreased since the 1970s. “This trend raises questions about the nation’s ability to sustain its research leadership in areas like biomedicine and technology, particularly since federal funds play a crucial role in fueling basic science breakthroughs,” she writes.