Four STEM experts -- France' Cordova, outgoing president at Purdue University, Meryl Comer, President and CEO of the Geoffrey Beane Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative, Frank Douglas, President and CEO of the Austen BioInnovation Institute, and Congresswomen Donna Edwards of Maryland -- just finished talking about the need for better education to foster future research at today's Washington Post Live event.
Edwards: "We need emphasis from the top down. Not just federal government making a commitment, but at the state and local level....educators need to be trained and retrained each year, with tools and in the labs during the summer time. Students need to be ready to learn in September -- not spend September to November rehashing everything they have already learned."
Comer made some very interesting comments about the connection between music, or other arts, with medical research. "We're not linear," she said, adding many scientists do their most creative work when they are away from the labs and performing the arts.
Comer says 1 percent of the cost of Alzheimer's is going to research. She's concerned that future scientists will go to China or Europe or many other places if U.S. research funding is not increased. "We're cutting off" our older generations, she said, by ignoring illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
Douglas: "Health care has become beyond our ability to pay for it. It's a national problem that needs to be addressed nationally. With the tremendous debt students take on just for a bachelor's disease...government should come forward and further incentivize students who may not be able to afford college and but have a real interest in science."
More to come....