The Basic Research Blues

The Basic Research Blues (a song for our good friends at NIH)

Written and performed by Sarah Brookhart, APS Executive Director (and wannabe singer-songwriter)

Feel free to replicate, reproduce, and share your voice with friends, colleagues, NIH, and us!

Wondering what this is about? Read “Congress Stops NIH From Implementing New Clinical Trials Policy” for the latest update on NIH’s expanded definition of clinical trials, and implications for the conduct of basic behavioral research.


Basic, oh basic research

I’ve been doing fundamental science … with humans.

Now you want to call me a clinical trial

And I know you hope that that’ll make me smile

But all I’ve got’s these basic research blues.

Verse 1

Once upon a time,

It wasn’t such a crime

To study things fundamental.

You know my work is vital,

So please don’t change my title.

How else you gonna understand the physical and mental?

Repeat chorus

Verse 2

We are something to see, we got transparency,

And we study the hardest puzzles.

The coolest methodology is basic psychology,

It’s something you don’t want to muzzle.

Verse 3

From NCI to NICHD,

NIA and all the other ICs,

We produce for their reliance

Amazing basic science

So people everywhere can get healthy.

Repeat chorus

You would feel the same way too if you were in my shoes

How you gonna stop these basic research blues?


And NIH should be ashamed of the blatant attempt to grab power and control of basic research (and facts and data).

Fabulous! Thank you so much. I’m going to share this widely.

I think that NIH intended to close a loophole and protect human subjects in basic medical research, but insodoing threw psychology an unintended curve that will likely stifle research and could harm human subjects. APS, APA, etc. should sit down with OBSSR at NIH and see if they can clear the air and weave in some helpful exceptions.

Wonderful and very relevant. I will share it with colleagues in the international psychological community.
Ruben Ardila, Ph.D.
Bogotá, Colombia

Wonderful! Great job Sarah — with the message and the music!

Very amazing

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