Why It's Time to Rock Alzheimer's

By Chris Mooney | November 16, 2010 8:34 am

As the countdown to the Rock Stars of Science™ release proceeds, I’ve done a piece at Huffington Post about why it matters so much that we value our scientists–because, well, the economic fate of the country is at stake:

…it’s myopia in the extreme to ignore the aging of our population right now, and the economic consequences if biomedical research doesn’t keep pace with demographics. According to philanthropist George Vradenburg, formerly a senior media executive at AOL, Fox, and CBS and now chairman of US Against Alzheimer’s, a recent report by Standard & Poors entitled “Global Aging 2010: An Irreversible Truth” says it all.

“There’s a decline in investment in research in the aging demographic at the same time that it may become the criteria on which sovereign debt is rated,” says Vradenburg, citing the report. If countries aren’t able to afford caring for their ever-older populations in the future, their entire financial picture could be clouded or undermined.

In this context, it’s vitally important to make science more glamorous, admired, respected. But the investments must follow the fame. It’s about much more than ensuring that our researchers have successful careers–it’s about whether their successes will be enough to save us from an aging-related boom in healthcare costs that could make our current, bitter debates seem mild in comparison.

You can read the full Huffington Post item here.

Comments (2)

  1. There can be little doubt that much of the Alzheimer’s community is frustrated by the current state of affairs in Alzheimer’s Research and particularly the failure of recent clinical trials.

    However, there is more going on than meets the eye by looking at the past and at failure.

    At the most recent TEDMED conference Rudy Tanzi talked about his vision to end Alzheimer’s disease by 2020.

    You can listen to his words via this exclusive podcast.

    Rudy Tanzi the Plan to End Alzheimer’s Disease by 2020 (Podcast)

    http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2010/11/rudy-tanzi-plan-to-end-alzheimers.html

    Bob DeMarco

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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