Op-ed: Gun research needs private funding

With no federal funding available for gun violence research, private funders, philanthropists, and state governments should step in to provide support, says Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health doctoral student Morissa Sobelson.

In an April 27, 2018 WBUR “Cognoscenti” article, Sobelson, who has collaborated with researchers at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center on firearms issues, wrote that young researchers interested in studying gun violence are often stymied by the lack of available funding. Federal research dollars have been unavailable for about two decades, since the passage of the 1996 “Dickey Amendment,” which states that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention cannot use money to “advocate or promote gun control.” The amendment, Sobelson said, has had a chilling effect on governmental agencies as well as funders of private research.

Praising Kaiser Permanente’s recent decision to invest $2 million in gun violence research, Sobelson called on other private grant-making institutions to follow suit. “As Washington remains deadlocked and federal funding for research is nowhere in sight, we need private companies and philanthropists to fill the gaps,” Sobelson wrote.

Read the “Cognoscenti” op-ed: There’s No Federal Money For Gun Research. Will Private Funders Step Up?

Learn more

Why there’s so little gun violence research (Harvard Chan School news)