evident from the continual increase in the budgets for basic research. We won’t know the actual budget until the work comes out of the subcommittee, but one cannot assume that there will be another 15 percent increase for the National Institutes of Health. We continue to hope and work for this number, but it should not be viewed as a “done deal.” Similarly, we need to be concerned about the budget numbers for the CDC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The question also remains about funding for the physical sciences. We need researchers to step up to bat to defend the importance of both the life science and the physical science research budgets.
Environmental issues are ascendant in Washington. They will have a central focus in next year’s political campaigns. Issues such as CO2, arsenic in drinking water, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and energy production will continue to be of interest to the American public. Governmental effects on health will continue to be of growing concern and will require further research. I would want to see new language in the reports that accompany the House and Senate appropriations bills this year. I would want to see that language carried over to the statement of the managers that accompanies the final conference report on the bills funding the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (and, therefore, the National Science Foundation). I would want to see language that expresses congressional concern and urges additional research and greater attention to cancer and the environment, in particular a focus on the genetic component and its interaction with environmental factors. In order to accomplish the latter, the participants of this workshop should devote some attention to strategies for increasing government awareness and increasing resources for this research into gene–environment interactions.