Dr. T discusses the importance of promoting psychological science with Congressman Ted Lieu!

Dr. T recently met with Congressman Ted Lieu. UCLA is in Representative Lieu’s district, and Dr. T communicated to him the importance of psychological science. Here’s what she had to say about the encounter:

“I met with Representative Lieu, who was extremely nice and clearly very committed to promoting research. I talked to him about how psychology and behavioral sciences have a tough job, which is to make things that are impossible to see (like prejudice, morality, or stress) graspable by science.

I talked to him about the DiSH Lab’s work examining weight stigma, and the effect that has on cortisol, and the effect THAT has on fat deposition. I communicated how important work like this is, because weight stigma is incredibly prevalent. But at the same time, I told him about how research like this is double the bang for your buck, because we study the mind and the body at the same time – what a great return on investment!

Research is so important, but we can’t do it without funding. The National Institutes of Health budget is flat, and not even 4% of investigators under age 36 (that’s still me!) have R01s – those are the critical types of grants that fund research and are needed for tenure. I talked about how Representative Lieu, by way of his appointment to the Budget Committee, might be able to make a huge difference.

Grant funding isn’t just about getting tenure. It also funds many jobs. Some grants also promote education, supporting things like the DiSH Lab’s soon-to-launch summer intensive. And most importantly, funding psychological science will give us solutions that will make society better!

Lastly, I invited him to take a tour of the DiSH Lab and other psychology labs at UCLA to see the action up close. He seemed really interested, so a visit from Representative Lieu may be in the very near future!”