'We have a duty to act when decision-makers refuse to heed the facts'

November 5, 2004

Terry Babcock-Lumish splits her time between politics and academe, saying that research must inform policy

Terry Babcock-Lumish will be disappointed that John Kerry has lost the US presidential election, but her experiences as a Democrat campaign manager will prove invaluable to her continuing research.

As an affiliate of the Rothermere American Institute, which is part of Oxford University, Ms Babcock-Lumish specialises in the study of US and UK venture capital markets and how these interact with policy and politicians. A case in point is President George W. Bush's opposition to stem-cell research. While UK universities are forging ahead, attracting state funding and interest from venture capitalists, federal funding in the US has been stopped.

"It is our responsibility to ourselves and future generations to explore potential cures and solutions to health problems," she said. "As an academic, I believe it vital that the facts and research serve to inform our approaches and strategies to whatever issue is at hand. When we have decision-makers who refuse to revise their ideas or opinions as informed by the truth, I believe we have a responsibility to act."

Ms Babcock-Lumish left Oxford to become deputy finance director for the Kerry election campaign in Pennsylvania, a big responsibility given the millions of dollars spent by presidential candidates. She remains an affiliate of the institute and is continuing her research in the US.

A committed Democrat, she worked for Diana Kerry, chairwoman of the Americans Overseas for Kerry (AOK). Ms Babcock-Lumish also co-founded an Oxford University chapter of the AOK and Democrats Abroad.

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