In DepthPUBLIC HEALTH

Emails reveal pressures on NIH gun research

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Science  20 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6361, pp. 286
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6361.286

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Summary

Internal agency emails released to Science under the Freedom of Information Act show the political tightrope that officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) negotiated as they discussed whether to renew a program soliciting research on preventing gun violence. The emails, written between October 2016 and February 2017, have come to light as some in Congress are pressuring NIH Director Francis Collins to renew the 3-year initiative, which has spent $18 million funding 22 research projects since January 2014, but which lapsed in January 2017. Last week, 26 Democrats and one Independent in the U.S. Senate wrote to Collins calling the need for more gun research "critical" after the 1 October murders of 58 people and the injury of nearly 500 people by a gunman in Las Vegas, Nevada.