Science and Technology
The health and longevity of the Oklahoma economy depends in large part on the acceleration of scientific and technological innovations. Maintaining Oklahoma’s leadership in these fields requires a concerted effort to ensure ongoing investments in technology, education and scientific investigations.
In Oklahoma, we are all too aware of the tangible impact our environment can have on our lives, making the study of weather patterns of great importance to our safety. The Fourth District of Oklahoma is the proud home to the National Weather Center, a massive research center that provides facts and predictions regarding the weather and information on emergency preparedness. Not only does the center provide lifesaving resources to Oklahomans, but it also benefits our state’s economy and workforce as a major employer to our district for scientists, researchers and meteorologists from around the world.
Health research is a growing and key economic force in Oklahoma. The state’s bioscience community includes business and research endeavors that support more than 51,000 Oklahoma jobs and have contributed more than $6.7 billion to the state and yielded over $4.1 billion in annual revenues. Included in the bioscience sector are studies in applied science, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and agriculture feedstock and chemicals.
Plant research has enormous potential to improve nutrition, health and even commercial applications that impact plant productivity and seed management. The high-tech development of new products and services will improve the agriculture industry for Oklahoma and play a key role in ensuring that the rapidly growing population of the world continues to have a sufficient supply of high quality food, drug therapies and alternative sources for fuels well into the 21st century.
I am also supportive of grant programs geared towards the skills students learn by studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). There are dozens of federal grant programs that provide support for high-quality learning opportunities in STEM subjects. In particular, Oklahoma has successfully used federal dollars to bring high-quality STEM content and experiences to students from low-income, high-need schools. I believe such training will inspire these students to become leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing Oklahoma and the nation at large.
More on Science and Technology
Like most rhetoric coming from President Barack Obama, his latest budget was filled with initiatives that sound good until you get into the details, especially the details regarding how to pay for these initiatives. This couldn’t have been more clear than in the method he proposed to deal with health threats to society posed by diseases like cancer and conditions like opioid abuse. While the president saw the value of enlisting biomedical and scientific researchers to deal with these problems, his proposed plan to pay for these policies is extremely irresponsible.
STAT - Dylan Scott
Congressional Republicans said on Tuesday that they’re open to boosting federal funding for cancer research, as the Obama administration proposed the day before. But they aren’t willing to simply rubberstamp the $755 million that the White House is asking for in the next fiscal year.
The Atlantic - Nora Kelly
When Americans go to the ballot box, they expect the congressional candidates they support to take their interests to the Hill—to fight for the political issues and programs they prefer with an enthusiasm and dedication that’s deeply personal. That doesn’t always happen. But in the last year or so, members of Congress responded to what one member called a “constituent-driven movement” to rally around the National Institutes of Health and the biomedical research it funds.
The Oklahoman - Stephen Prescott, M.D.
For the sake of Oklahoma's energy sector, let's hope the New Year brings a bump in oil and gas prices. But even if that doesn't happen, there are still plenty of economic silver linings to be found in the state.
In particular, the ongoing development of the bioscience sector has helped diversify our state's — and particular Oklahoma City's — economy. For 2016, here are five bioscience success stories that should just keep getting better.
Making cancer history