By Allison Lea
Last week, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) announced the winners of its second annual Stand Up for Science Video Competition, in which contestants were asked to submit a short video demonstrating the importance of the federal government’s investment in biomedical and biological science. The winning video, “Funding Basic Science to Revolutionize Medicine,” was created by six graduate students (Florie Charles, Nir Oksenberg, Marta Wegorzewska, Osama Ahmed, Argenta Price, and Christin Chong) from the University of California, San Francisco. The video illustrated the impact funding basic science has had on improving health and spurring subsequent medical discoveries.
FASEB member society the Genetics Society of America (GSA) conducted a short interview with Osama Ahmed (who is a GSA member) about the concept behind the video. “We wanted the public to know that basic scientific findings, which are spurred by curiosity, sometimes lead to a large number of unexpected human health improvements and the development of new technologies,” he said. “We also wanted to teach people that the [National Science Foundation] and [National Institutes of Health] are government institutions that use taxpayer dollars to fund basic research, and that these institutions need strong public support to continue to do so.”
Kayla Briet, a high school student from La Mirada, California, earned the runner-up prize for her video entitled, “Stay Curious.” Westley Wadsworth of Houston, Texas, and Eric Harris of Salt Lake City, Utah, each received honorable mentions for their videos, “Funding and Impact of the NIH” and “Unexpected Innovation.”
“We were extremely pleased with the caliber and content of the winning videos,” stated FASEB President Margaret K. Offermann, MD, PhD. “Biological research improves our lives. The winning videos demonstrate how federal funding makes this critical research possible.”