Funding and publication in biomedical research has become highly competitive and to succeed, it has become increasingly important to include statements that have broad appeal, i.e., impact, especially in the summaries of grant applications and manuscripts. The key elements in these statements are to keep them short, simple and sweet (i.e. appealing to a wider audience). Consider the three following statements:
i) Weve got no money, so weve got to think. (Ernest Rutherford 18711937, physicist. Nobel Laureate 1908).
ii) Big questions get big answers (Francis Link 19162004, biophysicist and neuroscientist. Nobel Laureate 1962).
iii) Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations. (Frederick Sanger 19182013, biochemist. Nobel Laureate 1958 and 1980).
All three statements are illustrative in being short and simple, and in having applications and implications that are beyond the direct discipline of the person making the statement. In addition, they give important messages in emphasising the necessity of thinking and asking appropriate questions, yet making sure that the fun and excitement of scientific discovery are maintained. Conveying these messages will help to ensure that an impact statement will pack a punch.