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Science's One-Two Punch

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Meryl Comer and Chris Mooney say those worried about mending the economy should consider investing in scientific research. "In a country where 65 percent of the citizens can't name a living scientist and another 18 percent try but get it wrong," Comer and Mooney say that it's a mistake not to ramp up funding for science. In discussing the economic reverberations of research achievements, the authors reflect on how Nobel laureate Robert Solow "documented that advances in technology and knowledge drove US economic growth in the first half of the 20th century." Beyond creating jobs alone, scientific research can also "save society a fortune" in shared healthcare costs, the pair writes. At a time when Republicans seek to cut federal science budgets to pre-stimulus levels, Comer and Mooney say it's time for Americans "to honor our scientists. … We need to recognize that the cost of basic science, and the time it takes, require a sustained government commitment."

HT: Mike the Mad Biologist

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.