Organizations Come Together to Support Peer Review
The Coalition to Protect Research (CPR), formerly the National Alliance to Support Sexual Health Research and Policy, held its second meeting on January 7. CPR, co-chaired by Karen Studwell of APA's Public Policy Office and Angela Sharpe of the Consortium of Social Sciences Associations, met to continue refining the coalition's messages and advocacy strategies. The 40 member organizations are unified in their goal of protecting the peer review process from congressional interference and are gearing up for a possible vote similar to last year's Toomey amendment that occurred during the FY04 appropriations cycle. CPR will meet with key congressional staff in January and February as the FY05 appropriations cycle gets underway. In March, the coalition is also planning a congressional briefing to educate Hill staff about the importance of research on sexual health and its implications for public health issues from HIV/AIDS prevention to the impact on marriages. The coalition is also developing a sign-on petition for scientists to highlight their support for the peer review process and a scientific enterprise free of political interference. We'll bring you more details on the petition next month.
APA's Division 44 on Gay and Lesbian Issues is also co-sponsoring a symposium at the convention with the Public Policy Office entitled, Supporting Scientific Integrity and Freedom in Behavioral Health Research. Participants include Karina Walters of the University of Washington School of Social Work, Tooru Nemoto of the UCSF School of Medicine's Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Thomas Coates, University of California at Los Angeles Department of Medicine, Isabel Fernandez of the University of Miami School of Medicine, and APA's Karen Studwell. These prominent behavioral scientists will discuss their research as well as their personal experiences of defending their research against political attacks. We hope to see you all in Hawaii and encourage everyone interested in this issue to attend the symposium.