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year. Whether or not appropriations should be raised in subsequent years, must depend upon the success of the program during the next 2 years.-William Montagna.
In the January 1960 brochure of the "Activities of the National Institutes of Health in the Field of Gerontology," G. Halsey Hunt, M.D., Chief, Division of General Medical Sciences, published a table indicating the total amounts of moneys expended for extramural projects. For the year 1958, there were 274 grants, amounting to $4,550,424; 1959, 404 grants amounting to $7,757,111; 1960, 582 grants amounting to $12,443,368. It will be seen that in a period of 3 years the number of grants almost trebled and the sums of money allocated also almost trebled. It would appear that for the year 1961 the logical figure should be in the vicinity of some $15 million, and by 1962–63, $20 million.—Matthew T. Moore.
While it is difficult to predetermine how much should be spent on aging research during the next 10 years, a suggested amount for 1961 is $10 million for biological and medical aspects of aging research. It is important to increase the research investment, especially the allocation of construction grants to provide facilities for groups interested in aging research.
Another technique for financing long-term research would be to establish "career investigatorships" assisting researchers to build laboratories for aging studies. This would also encourage the formulation of a literature available to persons who would use the results of aging studies.—Harold F. Osborne.
It is evident that the total budget for aging studies will have to be increased. The exact amount can only be determined by such governmental agencies as the National Institutes of Health.-Ernest Retzlaff.
The present budget should be doubled, if possible, within the next year, and then increased by at least 25 percent more per year for the next 10 years. This is essential to establishment of a long-range support program as suggested earlier. If a National Institute of Health is established, this figure would be revised upward accordingly, but I would not venture a definite figure, since building and other capital expenditures would be involved.—Morris Rockstein.
Since I do not know amounts, I cannot answer satisfactorily. I would like to increase my grants 100 percent.--James B. Rogers.
It is difficult for me, an individual researcher, to suggest a measure of financial investment for the overall field of aging. As I said earlier, the total amount of funds presently available seems to be adequate for social science research on aging, but more attention needs to be given to the research topics, and to the intensity and extensity of the research proposals. A lot of meaningless and useless findings are now "produced,” including some that are beautifully designed and well executed. More imagination and boldness are presently needed, but this requires better organization and leadership rather than more funds.-Arnold M. Rose.
Funds for aging research need to be expanded considerably, particularly in the area of basic research and in the social sciences. It should be kept in mind that aging studies are often quite expensive because of the need to investigate crosssectional samples; i.e., in contrast to studies where age is not a variable, aging studies require as many samples as there are age intervals to be considered. -K. Warner Schaie.
It is my opinion that the yearly expenditures for projects related to aging would have to be increased 8 to 10 times if sufficient results are to be forthcoming within the next 10 years. The contract arrangement pointed out repeatedly by sharing expenses with industry, private institutions, and other types of private support might reduce this expenditure.—Henry P. Schwarz.
Total national expenditures from all sources, public and private for medical research, are currently estimated at $715 million. A Committee of Consultants on Medical Research to the Subcommittee on Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare Appropriations of the U.S. Senate has indicated in their recent report "Federal Support of Medical Research” that the total support of medical research in 1970 may well require annual expenditures of $3 billion. In our opinion, if research appropriations keep pace with the need for support, adequate funds will be available to meet the needs of high-quality researchers in the field of gerontology.-James A. Shannon.
This question is probably difficult to answer for any one, even for those who are more familiar with the sums spent for research on aging than this commentator is. The problems inherent in scientific research are that the course and development of many a study are unforeseeable, let alone the cost of carrying through such a project. Some unexpected new lead' may turn up which would be worthwhile going into in spite of high costs which could not be anticipated at the start of the study. It is also quite impossible to predict how many new applications for funds will be made in any one year. There may be a sudden increase one year and comparatively few in the next, etc. The mere fact on the other hand that large sums of money are available does not guarantee that such funds are always usefully applied. If the legislators need a guide for estimates of future needs, this may perhaps be best obtained by comparing the total sums available for aging research in the various institutes during several past 5-year periods with (1) the amount applied for and (2) the requests granted. With an expected overall increase in (a) research cost and (b) work done in gerontology an annual increase of about 10 percent over the previous annual figure for the next 5 years would seem a fair estimate.-Martin Silberberg.
I am not sufficiently informed to give an estimate of the amount needed in this field in the immediate future, but I believe that the more money which becomes available, the more research projects will be initiated.—Henry S. Simms.
Considering the amounts now spent on aging, how much should be invested in aging research as such, over the next 10 years?
I regret that I cannot answer this question specifically, since it is extremely difficult to define accurately how much is now being spent on aging. The amount necessary to be spent over the next 10 years is closely related to the availability of appropriately trained and experienced research manpower. Unquestionably it should increase over the next 10 years, in the medical, biological, and social science fields. But the amount will be dependent upon the availability of personnel. — Alexander Simon.
The amount being spent on aging cannot be determined because there are no precise limits to this field. If research funds continue to grow as they have in the last 10 years, aging will not be slighted.-Eugene A. Stead, Jr.
Considering the amounts now spent on aging, how much should be invested in aging research as such over the next 10 years? Is there some measure of financial investment which you might recommend?
I find this question difficult to answer. I wholeheartedly support the proposals of the Jones report for the immediate and 10-year expansion of research appropriations by the Federal Government. These include proposals for expansion of the National Heart Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases, the National Institute on Nervous Diseases and Blindness and other institutes, all of whose programs are in a major way concerned with diseases of aging. Since I cannot estimate precisely the percent of their budgets committed to problems of aging (although I am almost certain that this encompasses a majority of their work), I would hesitate to mention amounts. The Jones Committee recommendation of an overall 66 percent increase for National Institutes of Health research grants for fiscal 1961 seems appropriate for aging research as well. The proposals for funds for construction of health research facilities and health education facilities also are applicable in the aging area. Similarly, it would be desirable to earmark recommended funds for intramural planning and construction. Finally, the 10 year projection of the Jones report, indicating an expansion of Federal Government expenditures to the $2 billion mark annually, seems to be highly appropriate, in view of the huge challenge to research presented by the major diseases of this era (the diseases of aging). It might be valuable to have an analysis going beyond that of the Jones report concerning Federal expenditures for the study of senescence per se (as distinct from the diseases of aging) and social science research on aging.–Jeremiah Stamler.
I believe that, at present, we are badly mishandling the economic aspects of over-65 people. The increasing numbers and percentages of them are likely to undermine the political and economic stability of this country if present policies are continued. To spend research money to increase the longevity of over-65 people so long as three-fourths of those now living have less than $1,000 a year to live on is an absurdity. I think we need to do some fundamental study of the economic, psychological and social implications of increased longevity, and thoroughly overhaul our social security, retirement and pension policies in the light of those findings. I consider the aging problem, delinquency in our youth, and the problem of finding a way of reducing cold war costs are the most pressing problems this country faces. I believe we should spend as much as can be effectively spent to solve all of these problems as quickly as possible.—Joseph W. Still.
I have no basis or making a realistic statement as to the amount of money which should be invested in aging research. I do feel that more money should be invested in answering basic questions whose immediate program importance may not be immediately apparent.—Gordon F. Streib.
I am not sufficiently cognizant of the financial picture over the field of aging to know how much should be invested in aging research over the next 10 years. In a general way, however, I do know that the amount of investment must be extended from what it is today. The amount of expansion of investment will depend, in some extent, to the number of individuals that can be encouraged to enter this field. On the other hand, the more money that is made available, the more people will tend to enter this field.-Norman M. Sulkin.
It is difficult to estimate how much should be spent on research in aging in the next 10 years. This is not a stepchild area, and the amount spent in support of mental health research and in nervous diseases and blindness research is a fair measuring stick to be applied here. The prestige of aging research can be enhanced considerably by the amount of money appropriated, and this will tend to draw more competent people into the field. Thomas T. Tourlentes.
I think it would be unwise to cut current investments in aging research. I also believe it would be unwise to increase appropriations to aging research unless well trained and willing scientists are available to perform good work. I think it is an erroneous policy which appropriates the money first and then causes individuals "to jump on the bandwagon because funds are available, even though these individuals are not interested in aging research. A further consequence of this is the depletion of capable workers in other fields where less funds are made available. This present suggestion is critical of the current congressional appropriation polioy and feels that a revision, if practical, would yield beneficial results in this country's economy and in a more equitable distribution of this Nation's research potential.-A. Kurt Weiss.
It would be difficult to put a dollar value on current and future research needs. This, it seems to me, should be carefully thought out in terms of the subjects to be résearched, the sources of funds, and the availability of qualified personnel. Your own committee has contributed considerably to identifying problems that might be soluble if the knowledge were available. A thoughtful presentation of problems and issues which need investigation is made in the background paper on *Research in Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences," published by the White House Conference Planning Committee functioning in this area under the chairmanship of Dr. John E. Anderson of the University of Minnesota.-Seymour L. Wolfbein.
The amount spent for the support of basic research into the nature and causes of ging should be led over the next 10 years. The research effort and results should be periodically evaluated by competent scholars in the field with a view toward modifying future financial support.-Verner J, Wulff.
Question No. 9
Is there a need to support social welfare research on aging?
Responses I presume that the words "social welfare” refer to the social services found in practically every city. If that is the meaning I would say no, because most of them are fairly well financed by State and urban governments, and some draw from the counties also. It seems to me that there is a very considerable need for support of social science research regarding aging, but, again, not through the several social science societies or organizations because they then would establish the rules under which researchers must work, and we would ágain face the fact that the large universities would be the big recipients. It may be of interest to know that the county in which we are located, with a population of less than 25,000, spends over $600,000 a year on social services and nothing on basic research.
The smaller educational institutions often have no research funds, so a person interested in working on a problem sometimes pays for his own research or does nothing about it at all. That is not an encouraging situation, yet some of the smaller institutions are the sources of much interest and some hypothesis regarding gerontological problems.
Your organization might do well to call for lists of problems regarding aging and the aged which should be given attention. Your present letter did not make such a suggestion, unless one reads between the lines. I am sure you would get a wholesome response, some of which the big schools possibly have not mentioned to you.—Chester Alexander.
The answer to this question presents difficulties. What is meant by “social welfare research" is not clear. There is, in my opinion, a real opportunity for substantial research on the organization, programs, activities, atmospheres, etc., of institutions for older people, and there are opportunities for research on housing adapted to the needs of older people. There are also possibilities of economic research. But such research ordinarily should not be done by social welfare people but by persons who are trained in the basic sciences, who know statistics, design and sampling procedures, and who are also familiar with the scientific literature within the fields in which they are working. There is an appalling amount of poor research in aging now being done by many poorly trained people. Generally speaking, the poorer graduate students go into the applied fields with the result that much of the strictly applied research, however useful it may be for some purposes, adds little to our understanding of the area. It is for this reason that the original selection and training of the persons who are to do research is of very great importance. -John E. Anderson.
Yes; I feel that social welfare research on aging should be supported but not to a degree which would entail very great expenditures of money.- Warren Andrew,
I do believe that there is a need to support social welfare research on aging. Henry H. Banks.
This is the prime current need. — Howard B. Bensusan.
Yes; social welfare research should be supported.—Geoffrey H. Bourne.
I also think that there should be a certain amount of support for welfare research on aging. I would question whether there should be a National Institute of Gerontology any more than there should be a national institute of pediatrics, adolescence, adulthood, etc.—Clark E. Brown.
This question implies a distinction between social welfare research and social research. I interpret social welfare research to mean a type of evaluation study which is concerned with what is being done or should be done to help elderly people, as contrasted to the why and how of certain social phenomeną. It is obvious that any social agency should be willing to have its work repeatedly examined to determine its success or failure. Such an evaluation, however, cannot be considered a scientific one unless it is free of bias and prejudice. Therefore, such evaluation research should be carried out by individuals who are not responsible for the action patterns which they are evaluating and are not in any way associated with them.-Ewald W. Busse.
There is a vital need for financial support of social welfare research on aging. Social welfare research has been a stepchild in the social research field.—Wilbur J. Cohen.
Yes.-Eugene A. Confrey.
My own experience with those in the field of welfare leads to the definite impression that interest in research on the aging is definitely less and more poorly implemented than interest in other fields, particularly that of child welfare. The present moves to create interest in the aging among welfare agencies should be supported by every possible means. This again probably means pilot projects offered by the Federal Government to welfare agencies willing to support enthusiastically research in connection with their own activities.-Fred Cottrell.
Recently we were visited by Dr. Joseph H. Gerber, who has just succeeded Dr. G. Halsey Hunt, and I had a few moments in which to explain this, my point of view. I was gratified by the courtesy with which he listened to me. Consequently, my contention is that we should develop this great science of gerontology in both ways, by establishing departments in leading universities and by financing temporary grants for research.-E. V. Cowdry.
As indicated under item 1, I think social welfare research needs to be emphasized. Sears Crowell.