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Research will bring us back together

6th April 2020

Research is our specialty and that’s why over the next few weeks, we will be talking a lot about coronavirus as we launch our new series ‘Research will bring us back together’. Here, our Chief Executive, Dr Helen Rippon, shares her thoughts.

It’s hard to escape the constant coronavirus news cycle of case numbers, death rates and population lock downs as the globe is gripped by a powerful pandemic. But one positive has emerged in this time of crisis. Experts are suddenly back in fashion and what’s more, people are listening to their advice. Scientific research is back in the spotlight and, now more than ever, people are seeing the power of research when it comes to tackling global problems.

We believe that research holds the answer to many of humanity’s problems. Whether it's tackling climate change, protection from an emerging virus or conquering cancer – without research, that progress which allows us to live healthier lives stagnates.

The pace at which the research community has reacted to the coronavirus pandemic has been phenomenal. In 2014, following the Ebola virus epidemic, it took 5 years to develop an approved vaccine. But experts predict we could have a coronavirus vaccine ready as quickly as 2 years from when the outbreak began. When this achievement comes it will do so because of the global outlook of research and the dedication of scientists all over the world to come together to solve a problem.

Imagine what we could achieve if we put more resources into research – not only during times of crisis, but always? Imagine if we always prioritised the understanding of the very basis of our problems in order to find new solutions? Imagine if we could do the same for cancer. 

We’ll be exploring how the pandemic could affect research, both positively and negatively -and highlight the important role research has to play in improving the lives of people all over the world.

Right now, the pandemic is tearing us apart – but it’s research that will bring us back together. In the meantime, please stay home and stay safe.