Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2020-09-25-Opinión-CIMA-Más allá del Covid

Carmen Berasain, Researcher of the Hepatology Program of Cima University of Navarra

María Arechederra, Researcher of the Hepatology Program of Cima University of Navarra

The research beyond Covid

Yesterday was the International Day of research Against Cancer. Scientists claim their role and the need for means for projects channeled outside the pandemic and in which they have been working on.

Fri, 25 Sep 2020 18:31:00 +0000 Published in ABC

The year 2020 will be marked in our report as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented health status that is requiring a great exercise of responsibility and effort from everyone:

Scientists. We have the responsibility to dedicate our knowledge, work and technical means to find solutions that contribute to stop the pandemic. However, we must perform this task with consistency, thoroughness and honesty. Today, biomedical research is a highly specialized field and, although each of us must strive to discover how we can contribute to solving the multiple challenges that the pandemic is presenting us with, it is our responsibility not to fall into the temptation of transfiguring our research by trying to adapt it to the "fashionable" or "fundable" topic . This, in addition to wasting resources and efforts and creating false expectations that are unlikely to bear fruit, damages the image that society has of our work. Let us strongly support the virologists and experts in the development of vaccines that we have in the country, let us listen to them and let us not hesitate to put our work capacity at their service, if they consider it necessary, but let them be the ones to guide us. The research in biomedicine is a highly competitive degree program and we must give continuity to our projects, not only to make profitable the specialized talent already generated, the results achieved and the resources already invested, but also to continue progressing in the knowledge of diseases with an enormous social impact.

Politicians. This crisis has highlighted the need to support quality scientific research . If we want a competitive and independent country, capable of responding to this and new health crises, the commitment to funding scientific research must be firm and long-term deadline, not only at the state level but also at the regional level. It is sad to see that, government after government, the promises to reach budget levels in research similar to those of the major European countries, repeated during election campaigns, are never fulfilled. It is important to remind politicians not to fall into the demagogy of diverting the money dedicated to research only to Covid-19 issues.

The money for Covid should come from an additional budget , without taking resources away from other research themes. This is the time to respect and support research groups to stay true to their research lines and for them to receive the support and financial aid they need to carry out their work. If in previous decades the research groups working on viruses had not been respected and supported, under the pretext that what was important for our health were cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases or cancer, we would not be able to count on them today. We cannot allow the deterioration or paralyzation of our scientific framework, just as we cannot neglect, because of the call of immediacy, areas of research such as cancer, rare diseases or Alzheimer's disease, to give a few examples.

Society. The novelty and scope of the crisis is requiring measures to be taken at very different levels, often without clear criteria. However, our responsibility as a society is to heed the recommendations of the experts and minimize the impact of the pandemic as much as possible. Furthermore, as a society we can and must demand that institutions and politicians assume their commitments and manage economic resources efficiently, prioritizing areas of national interest such as research, health and Education with a view to the long term deadline. The pandemic is demanding new social behaviors and it seems that only the calendar maintains normality.

On September 24 is celebrated the International Day of research Against Cancer and the association Spanish Against Cancer (AECC) has made a great effort to adapt to this new status and continue contributing to the research. With contributions to the digital piggy banks of the AECC, or to the virtual bibs of the VI Walk Against Cancer of Vitoria, to which our group of research has so much to thank, we can all say: "I help".

Because we cannot stop, thank you all for your financial aid and partnership. In these difficult times, in which we will defeat Covid-19, you have our commitment to continue researching with rigor and effort to, together, advance in the fight against cancer.