UK respiratory community needs to pull together: experts


21 Jul 2015

A failure to come together as a community and speak as one voice may be the reason why respiratory research in the UK gets a small share of funding compared to other diseases, leading experts say.

Writing in an editorial in Thorax Noel Snell from the British Lung Foundation and colleagues Ian Jarrold and Stephen Holgate noted a “clearly marked disparity” in research spending on respiratory disorders compared with other disease areas, both in absolute terms and, more tellingly, in relation to disease burden.

It was not that the UK respiratory research community was bad at identifying research priorities, nor that that it was behind the rest of the world in performing and publishing research, they said.

However a frequent comment made about the UK respiratory community was that it was poor at collaboration, unhelpful when refereeing colleagues’ submissions for funding and failed to speak with one voice.

This was in marked contrast to the cardiology or rheumatology communities who are much more supportive of one another.

There was clearly a need for closer collaboration between organisations as well as a more collegiate and supportive attitude between individuals, they said.

“If we can all pull together and speak with one voice, the future of respiratory research in the UK may look a little less bleak,” they concluded.

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