Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dr. Mary Carskadon

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dr. Mary Carskadon

Mary Carskadon, Ph.D. and Barry Lester, Ph.D. both of Brown University met with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) in his Rhode Island state office in July 2014 for a wide-ranging discussion of funding for behavioral science and mental health.  Carskadon discussed her research on sleep patterns of young people, as well as other work being conducted by her colleagues.  “I think he learned a few things about the local research and its direct benefits to the state,” Carskadon said.  Lester, who talked about his research on children at risk of poor developmental outcomes, added, “He said nothing makes more of a difference to him then people like us coming to see him.”   

Dr. Barry Lester and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

Dr. Barry Lester and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)

The psychologists also discussed some challenges for psychological scientists including the continued impacts of sequestration, decreased availability of federal funding, and the reluctance of some investigators to enter or remain the field due to the limited availably of funding.  Carskadon noted, “It was a really great meeting, upbeat and positive.”  Compared to meeting with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill, Carskadon added that the meeting in their state was, “Much better. More relaxed, more personal, and really quite special.”