Chapter IV: Disciplinary Consolidation, the mid-1970s to the early 1980s
By 1975, SfN was a successful society with a large and rapidly growing membership, and a vibrant annual meeting, and stood as a growing force within academia and the federal government. Neuroscience, nevertheless, was still developing its disciplinary identity within the larger scientific community. The Society and its leadership worked hard to create an integrated disciplinary identity that, at the same time, allowed for multiple perspectives, experimental approaches and practices, and levels of analysis.
The Society’s work in this period may be seen as comparable to that of the professionalization of medicine and the creation of medical specialties in the early 20th century. A profession is usually defined by the degree to which it is able to control entry into its ranks (through definition of educational standards and licensure); control of its working practices, conditions, and standards; and socialization of its members (through education and the creation of ethical and professional codes). Medicine is considered the most successful example of a profession; other professions, such as law, nursing, accounting, and engineering also meet the criteria, depending on the degree to which they are able to exercise control over working practices and conditions.66 The status of neuroscience as a true profession may be debated as no one is licensed to pursue this occupation and practitioners must generally seek work in academia, government, or industry (today often true of physicians as well).
The founding of SfN, however, and its creation of a leadership group, an annual meeting and eventually a journal enabled the members of the field to achieve a measure of professional control. The meetings played an important role in socializing young scientists, through introductions to mentors and collaborators, and through tacit instruction in the meaning and scope of “neuroscience” and the topics, practices, and productions that would gain legitimacy in the field. The leadership helped to give intellectual and ethical definition to the idea of a neuroscientist by becoming “the public face of Neuroscience,” ensuring access to scientists from all demographic groups, taking stances on both social and scientific issues, publicizing the important contributions of the field and, in particular, championing the prerogatives of its members to pursue research on their own terms, with adequate funding and governance over their work practices. All these strategies helped the Society to avoid fragmentation and allowed members who were pursuing diverse lines of research to see their work as integrated into a larger whole.
Educating Future Neuroscientists
Standardizing educational principles are, of course, a key feature of disciplinary consolidation. The Society, early on, took this as an important aspect of its mission. The Society sponsored surveys of interdisciplinary programs and contributed to manpower studies of neuroscience. The Education Committee, created in 1971, provided resources for setting up new departments of neuroscience at leading academic institutions and produced a directory of neuroscience programs every two years. In 1972, the committee offered its suggestions for recommended subjects for preparing for graduate study in neuroscience, suggesting that students study not only biochemistry, physiology, and experimental psychology, but also statistics and molecular and cell biology.67 Such rigorous recommendations did not deter students from entering the field. The Society and the field were growing rapidly; neuroscience-related doctorates had increased by about 10 percent a year from 1970 to 1974.
The number of newly minted neuroscience related PhDs continued to rise throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As with the 1960s and 1970s, PhDs in neuroscience rose more rapidly than other bioscience PhDs. This was especially the case for those PhDs supported by NIH. Figure 21 compares major fields of study of PhD recipients supported by NIH from 1986 to 2011. As can be seen, the number of neuroscience based PhDs supported by the NIH increased more rapidly than any other field. By the early 2000s, neuroscience surpassed all other NIH-supported PhDs. Underscoring the importance of neuroscience in the first decade of the 21st century, the number of neuroscience dissertations exceeded molecular biology dissertations, the second most frequent NIH-supported dissertation topic, by a factor of two.68
By 1979, membership had soared to more than 6,000. This dramatic expansion is attributable at least in part to mentoring by Society leaders and elder members, to an expanding funding base, and to the growing excitement of new scientific discoveries, marked by seven Nobel Prizes for neuroscience research in that decade.69
SfN Nobel Laureates 1970-2014
|Julius Axelrod (1912-2004), along with Sir Bernard Katz and Ulf von Euler, was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and "for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmitters in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1970/)|
|Gerald M. Edelman (1929-2014) and Rodney R. Porter were awarded the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the chemical structure of antibodies." (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1972/)
|D. Carleton Gajdusek (1923-2008) and Baruch S. Blumberg were awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1976/).|
|Roger Guillemin (b. 1924) and Andrew V. Schally were awarded the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the peptide hormone production of the brain.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1977)|
|David H. Hubel (1926-2013) and Torsten N. Wiesel (b. 1924) were awarded the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system.” (shared with Roger W. Sperry) (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1981)|
|Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909-2012) and Stanley Cohen were awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of growth factors.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1986)|
|Arvid Carlsson, Paul Greengard (b. 1925) and Eric R. Kandel (b. 1929) were awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2000)|
|H. Robert Horvitz (b. 1947), Sydney Brenner and John Sulston were awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2002)|
|Linda B. Buck (b. 1947) and Richard Axel were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2004)|
|John O’Keefe (b. 1939), May-Britt Moser (b. 1963), and Edvard I. Moser (b. 1962) were awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.” (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2004)|
Both established and young neuroscientists were able to explore the brain and nervous system more deeply in the mid-to-late 1970s, making use of new technologies in imaging, including fMRI and PET scanning. Other innovative methods were used in molecular biology and chemistry, to identify the opioid receptors and the enkephalins and to analyze the acetylcholine receptors as well as in basic neurophysiology, where the patch-clamp technique made possible the recording of subcellular activity. Researchers of the early 1980s revealed the great versatility of the nervous system by clarifying some of the mechanisms of long-term potentiation and neuroplasticity that underlie learning and memory. These new methodologies and approaches opened up research into many neurological diseases — a good example being the targeted efforts of the Hereditary Disease Foundation team that identified the genetic locus of Huntington’s disease in 1983.
For SfN, managing this remarkable rate of growth entailed efforts to promote and facilitate investment in education and research. In September 1978, SfN hosted a three-day meeting in Arlington, Virginia, bringing together representatives of 57 federal and academic organizations with 21 neuroscientists to discuss “Projecting Future Needs of Neuroscience.” The conveners announced: “The Society, with an expanding membership that will exceed 6,000 by 1979, is now recognized as the primary professional organization in the basic brain sciences in North America. The phenomenal growth of the Society reflects the explosive development of neuroscience, which promises to remain at the forefront of the life sciences and to make exciting contributions for some years to come.” SfN leaders encouraged universities and the federal government to plan for significant investment in the field and felt “obligated to contribute to such planning by utilizing its resources to provide information on the status of the field and to project the future thrusts and needs of neuroscience.”70 Conference participants noted that data on the number of neuroscientists working in the field was still fragmentary, an inadequacy due in part to “the interdisciplinary nature of the field and the fact that ‘neuroscience’ has not been clearly defined.”71 The field was expanding so fast and its members and research programs were moving in such varied directions that a simple definition remained elusive.
By 1981, SfN President David Cohen recognized that although SfN’s governance to that point had been characterized by “an imaginative flexibility tempered by an appropriate sense of stability,” ongoing self-evaluation was essential to avoid the threat of “over-institutionalization and stagnation” faced by organizations as they reached a certain size. Cohen organized a Long-Term Planning Project in which 43 members participated on nine task forces to review the Society’s achievements and activities in the previous 10 years and recommend strategies for the future. Their proposals and recommendations were reviewed and in some cases amended by a steering committee, including Cohen, Floyd Bloom, Jack Diamond, and Dominick Purpura.72 The committee reported to the Council in November 1983 with a Long-Range Planning Report, which reaffirmed many of the existing policies and programs. The key recommendations, most of which were implemented, included the following:
- Augmenting the participation of non-North American scientists at meetings and enhancing communication with the leaders of international neuroscience organizations.73
- Expanding educational activities in several areas, including training in new methods for members; lectures, workshops, and travel grants for undergraduates; and short lab-based courses for medical students.74
- More specific guidelines for symposia and special lectures and “smaller, more diverse social gatherings” at the annual meetings. Strategies for limiting the number of abstract submissions to 3,600 were considered but no consensus was reached. The balance of basic and clinical science topics “should be permitted to self-regulate.”75
- Expansion of the Council to include three ex-officio members, one each from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., to represent the needs of members within their country, and investigation of mechanisms to ease restrictions on the use of federal grant funds for scientific travel, particularly between Mexico and the U.S.76
- Development of a pool of senior neuroscientists to assist the Governmental and Public Affairs Committee in providing congressional testimony and similar advocacy. The task force did not recommend the hiring of a lobbyist.77
- Review of the current committee structure and better definition of the activities of the Social Issues Committee, which was thought to have “languished” for some years, although recently more active.78
On balance, the steering committee found that the task forces’ recommendations “would lead the Society in an orderly evolution toward better service to its membership and increasingly effective representation of the field of neuroscience,” and it hoped that such “regular, thoughtful self-evaluation” of the Society’s work and governance would continue.79 The task forces also made recommendations regarding publications, finance, the central office, regional and sectional issues, and governance structure and membership, in most cases approving the status quo but suggesting ongoing review.80
Recommendations of the Long-Range Planning Task Forces 1983
1) The International Activities Task Force (chaired by Floyd Bloom) recommended augmenting the participation of non-North American scientists at US-based meetings and enhancing communication with the leaders of international neuroscience organizations.1
2) The Education Task Force (chaired by Lorne Mendell) proposed expanding educational activities in several areas, including a new Medical Education Committee to compile and assess medical school and post-graduate training in neuroscience; training courses in new methods for members (if the need were documented by a member survey); a fund to assist young neuroscientists; expansion of the Grass Travelling Lectureships; a summer laboratory information bank, as well as lectures, workshops and travel grants for undergraduates; and short lab-based courses for medical students.2
3) The Annual Meeting Task Force (chaired by Dale Purves) contributed an extensive set of recommendations, in balance “endors[ing] the status quo with a gradual evolution toward something better.” The group felt strongly that the Program Committee should assume more responsibility in ensuring “the scientific quality” of the meetings.3 In particular, the existing procedures for scheduling symposia appeared “too haphazard.” The Task Force suggested that each Program Committee member generate two symposium proposals; that one symposium focus on “a specific neurological disorder;” and that historical and “other more imaginative” topics be encouraged. The group thought special lectures, including presidential lectures, should be coordinated by the Program Committee, although the Steering Committee advised that the president and Program Committee should consult together.4 Similarly, the Task Force proposed that the Program Committee oversee awards, but the Steering Committee insisted that this responsibility be retained by the Council. Finally, “smaller, more diverse social gatherings” at the annual meetings were suggested.5
Strategies for limiting the total number of abstract submissions to 3,600 and restricting members from submitting multiple abstracts were considered by the Task Force and by the Steering Committee, but no consensus was reached, save the proposal that no member be allowed to sponsor an abstract submitted by another member.6 The Task Force recommended maintaining the existing mix of platform and poster presentations and allowing that the balance of basic and clinical science topics “should be permitted to self-regulate.”7
4) The Regional and Sectional Issues Task Force (chaired by Donald Humphrey) endorsed continuing and strengthening the existing “mature and successful” chapter structure. This task force also tackled the problems of representation of Canadian and Mexican members, although recognizing that “no mechanism” existed for the Society to fully address these. However, the group proposed the expansion of the Council to include three ex-officio members, one each from Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., to represent the needs of members within their country, and investigate mechanisms to ease restrictions on the use of federal grant funds for scientific travel, particularly between Mexico and the U.S. The Steering Committee, however, felt the addition of ex officio members to the Council to be inappropriate and suggested as an alternative the creation of an ad hoc committee, including several members from the non-U.S. countries.”8 Some Canadian members had the previous year proposed forming a separate society, which would address in particular research funding for neuroscience by their government. The Council had been very concerned by this possibility and expressed its commitment to Canadian (and Mexican) representation on the Council.9 Addressing the needs and concerns of scientists in the neighboring nations has remained an SfN priority.
5) The Central Office Organization Task Force (chaired by Bruce Smith) conducted a thorough analysis of the Office’s existing structure and functions and made a strong case for its professionalization, including a flexible budget; increased discretionary powers for the executive director; increasing the staff over 5 years and improving salaries and benefits; automating many central office tasks and broadening its functions to include those now handled by standing committees, allowing the committees to concentrate on policy; expanding the office space to 2500 square feet and periodically reviewing the option of purchasing dedicated space. The Task Force also suggested creating a liaison group of three senior members to review and consult with the central office staff and liaise with the council and committees. The Steering Committee pointed out that “the Officers of the Society have such a liaison as an important part of their responsibility” and should continue in this role.10
6) The Social and Public Policy Task Force (chaired by Daniel Freedman and Robert Dismukes) noted that the work of the Governmental and Public Affairs Committee was “considered crucial,” but had up to that time relied on “the loosely coordinated but skilled and energetic efforts” of a few. The Task Force recommended more consultation with Society leadership, a closer liaison with the public information office and, in particular, the development of a pool of senior neuroscientists to assist the Governmental and Public Affairs Committee in providing congressional testimony and similar advocacy. The group did not recommend the hiring of a professional lobbyist. This Task Force also recommended more careful consideration of appointees to and questions to be addressed by the Social Issues Committee, to improve the usefulness of that committee, which was thought to have “languished” for some years, although recently more active.”11
7) The Governance Structure and Membership Task Force (chaired by Michael Bennett) reaffirmed the open membership policy; re-emphasized “the importance of intense involvement” of the Council in all Society business and of regular communication with the standing committees; and recommended review of the current committee structure and periodic review of the bylaws.12
8) The Publications Task Force (chaired by Gerald Fischbach) noted that The Journal of Neuroscience had “become a respected forum in a remarkably short period of time.” The group suggested imposing “even more demanding criteria for acceptance,” but also endeavoring to include more non-U.S. papers, and suggested possible expansion of The Journal to two publications, one on molecular and one on systems neuroscience. Finally, it was recommended that the Neuroscience Newsletter be published more frequently and develop “more newsy and scientific” content.13
9) The Finance Task Force (chaired by Bernard Agranoff) offered three major recommendations: to extend the treasurer’s term to three years, create an office of treasurer-elect and appoint one member of the Finance Committee to liaison with the central office. The Steering Committee however felt that this “liaison” member would create possible conflicts with the treasurer and suggested that the president, an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee, would better fill this role.14
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 2.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 5.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 6.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 7.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 8.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 6.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” pp. 6-8.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 12-13.
- Minutes of Council Meeting, November 13, 1980, pp. 3-4.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 9.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 15.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” pp. 17-18.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 3.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 4.
A Discipline “Free of Bias”
From its inception, the SfN founders had believed the Society would be an integrating force for neuroscience not only in the United States but also globally. Such a society would include members of both sexes and all ethnicities, reflecting their vision of a neuroscience not restricted by disciplinary, national, or demographic boundaries. The social realities of American racial and gender disparities made it especially difficult to create a society that met these aspirations, and both leaders and members worked toward this visionary goal.
SfN was founded at a transformative time of growing feminist and ethnic consciousness in many parts of the world. Responding to the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1950s and 1960s, the American scientific community confronted the problem of female and minority participation in science. Scientific societies examined the role of women in their disciplines, universities struggled to account for the lack of female faculty members, and female scientists helped to found the National Organization of Women. In the early 1970s, U.S. educators and policymakers took concrete steps to encourage more women and racial minorities to study and practice science, culminating in the 1972 passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, which included the famous Title IX, banning sex discrimination in any part of an institution receiving federal funds.81
Neuroscience researchers meanwhile compared the percentage of women in their field to their participation in comparable biological and behavioral fields. A 1974 National Research Council survey found that women received 20 percent of PhDs in neuroscience in 1973, double the rate of 10 years earlier, and comparable to the 21.5 percent receiving PhDs in all the biosciences.82 In 1976, Louise Marshall, in her inventory of American neuroscientists conducted with Sloan Foundation support, found that women made up “12% of the entire personnel pool” of neuroscience, but 22 percent of the graduate students. Female students at that time were earning 23 percent of all biomedical degrees and 33 percent of behavioral science doctorates.83
While the bylaws did not explicitly state it, the Society for Neuroscience did not discriminate against women or minorities; membership was open to any scientist, regardless of race or gender, who was conducting research on the brain and behavior. Women remained approximately 20 percent of SfN membership throughout the 1970s. In 1977, however, the Society was asked to take a more public stance. MaryLou Cheal, a researcher from the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, introduced a resolution at the business meeting in Anaheim, California, suggesting that starting in 1980, the Society only meet in states that had ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), passed by Congress in 1972. This would prevent the Society from meeting in several large cities, such as Las Vegas, Chicago, and Atlanta. The National Organization of Women had suggested this boycott in an attempt to apply economic pressure on states to ratify the ERA, and several scientific societies including the American Psychological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science had chosen to participate.84
In response to Cheal’s resolution, the SfN Council “reaffirm[ed] and resolve[d]” its commitment to equal employment opportunity and all official business would continue to be “transacted in the spirit of this principle.”85 But since only a small proportion of the membership had attended the business meeting, the Council decided to poll members though the Neuroscience Newsletter before acting on a proposal that would have practical and economic effects on the Society. Less than 12 percent of SfN members responded to this poll, a “disappointing” return, but the majority favored restricting the annual meeting to ERA states. Some members expressed “concern about the Society’s becoming involved in any form of political activity.” Council “delayed taking any formal action on the resolution,”86 but, after another round of polling, adopted this requirement in 1977 for choosing cities to host the annual meeting. SfN met only in ERA states from 1984 until 1987 (the locations for 1980-83 had been scheduled prior to the Council action).87 The deadline for legislative ratification passed in 1982, and by the late 1980s, it had become impractical for the burgeoning Society to avoid non-ERA states. The Long-Range Planning Committee recommended that the rule be dropped after 1987.88
At the 10th annual meeting in Cincinnati, meanwhile, more than 200 female neuroscientists attended a reception sponsored by the Association for Women in Science, which “turned out to be both a serious scientific meeting and a group therapy session.”89 This group “unanimously voted to formalize their desire for a women’s caucus,” to be known as Women in Neuroscience (WiN),90 and selected five women to serve on an executive committee with Candace Pert of NIMH serving as chair. In part, the group was motivated by some SfN-sponsored “special interest” events at previous meetings, in which inappropriate gender-based humor had been the special interest on the agenda. In addition to protecting the interests of female neuroscientists and students in the field, WiN also sought to emphasize the importance of women as subjects of scientific study in neuroscience research. The group planned to sponsor several professional development events and provide childcare resources at future annual meetings.91
After sponsoring their own special interest dinner and discussion at the Los Angeles meeting, the WiN Executive Committee focused its attention on “the paucity of women in the upper echelons of the Society for Neuroscience as well as in academic neuroscience.”92 They compiled a national directory to assist federal agencies, universities, and corporations to identify appropriate female candidates for open positions in neuroscience.93 WiN sponsored scientific and practical programs at every SfN meeting after 1981, conducted its own analysis of SfN’s 1982 membership survey and, in 1983, published “A Profile of Women in the Society for Neuroscience.” They found that 60 percent of women held PhD degrees, while only 4 percent had medical degrees; that men were almost twice as likely to have postdoctoral trainees working for them; and that women were more reliant on “soft money” funding sources than men. The WiN analysis concluded that the trends for women in neuroscience were consistent with trends for women in academia in general, with major gains in training and employment since the early 1970s, and a basis for cautious optimism that more women would fill professional and Society roles in the future.94
Throughout the 1980s, women held several leadership positions in the Society. Bernice Grafstein served as the first female president, and women served on the Council and all of SfN’s committees. Nevertheless, during these years, women remained a minority in the field. Although 43 percent of the Society’s graduate student members were women, by 1990 National Research Council survey of doctorates found that women received 36 percent of neuroscience PhDs and 38 percent of postdoctoral fellowships between 1985 and 1990, while data compiled by the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs (ANDP) indicated that women made up only 18 percent of applicants and hires for tenure-track positions.95 This dropoff through the scientific pipeline, studied in depth by SfN members Linda Spear and Michael Zigmond, was similar to other fields of science; none of the challenges to women’s success were unique to neuroscience. In 1991, SfN created an ad hoc Committee on the Development of Women’s Careers in Neuroscience, to examine this problem in greater detail.96 This Committee was instrumental in shaping the 1995-96 SfN member survey, which found that women composed 30 percent of the total membership.97
The status of racial and ethnic minorities in neuroscience did not attract as much attention in the early years of the Society, although they too were underrepresented in every survey. The 1974 Department of Health, Education and Welfare manpower study had found that the vast majority (94 percent) of neuroscientists were white; 4.2 percent were Asian, 0.7 percent African American, 0.9 percent were Hispanic and 0.2 percent were Native American. These statistics were consistent with other scientific and academic fields, and state and national lawmakers implemented various educational programs to try to increase the proportion of these minorities in the U.S. professional labor force. In particular, educational initiatives to encourage African American students to study science and pursue graduate degrees were proposed as a way to increase scientific manpower for the United States.98
In September 1979, SfN President Torsten Wiesel outlined the steps that “we, as members of the Society for Neuroscience, can do to interest young minority students in our field.” He listed several NSF and NIH programs designed to support and encourage minority scientists, but he noted that “it will always be the personal effort and commitment of individual members that will make the difference.”99 At the annual meeting that year in Atlanta, the Social Issues Committee established a Subcommittee on Minority Affairs, chaired by Catherine Cornwell-Jones, to recruit minority members to the field and the Society and to “expand the role of minorities in the policymaking processes of the Society.”100 These efforts culminated in the establishment of the Minority Traveling Fellowship in 1981, which continued into the 21st century as the Neuroscience Scholars Program.101
Despite these efforts, minorities have been persistently underrepresented in neuroscience, as in nearly all scientific fields. A 1982 report showed that the percentage of minority SfN members had not changed significantly in the past 10 years. 5 percent of members were of Asian descent, 2 percent were Hispanic, 0.5 percent African American and 0.2 percent Native American.102 African American scientists flowed out of all disciplines through a “leaky pipeline” as did women, although the greatest attrition was apparently at the high school level.103 In 1999, an ANDP survey found again that Asian Americans consistently made up 3-4 percent of the neuroscience community, while only 1.9 percent of predoctoral students, 0.7 percent of postdoctoral researchers and 0.6 percent of faculty were African-American, still far below parity with levels in the general population.104 SfN’s commitment to advancing diversity through the Neuroscience Scholars Program since 1981 has successfully patched the pipeline for some 600 scholars from minority backgrounds.
Coming of Age: The Founding of The Journal of Neuroscience
The Scientific Revolution of the 17th century transformed natural philosophers into scientists. The scientific journal was critical to this metamorphosis. Founded in 1660, The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge was the first society committed to the discussion of science and the practice of experimentation. The first publication of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, under the editorship of German-born Henry Oldenburg (Figure 23), followed five years later, making it the first journal exclusively devoted to science. Though our modern understanding of what it means to be a scientist (and the word itself) would not come into existence for another 200 years, the Philosophical Transactions and the scientific journals that followed played critical roles in creating a social and cultural space for the full-time devotion to an understanding of the natural world through observation and experimentation.
The Society for Neuroscience leadership was well aware of the importance of a journal both as a means of communicating scientific findings and as the necessary glue that would cement disciplinary identity and cohesion. From the beginning, the SfN Council foresaw the need for a journal devoted to an expansive definition of neuroscience.105 In 1979, President Torsten Wiesel, President-elect Sol Snyder, and Eric Kandel jointly proposed to the Council that the time was right. They felt “it would be better to start afresh with a truly interdisciplinary journal of the highest quality,” but they also wanted to ensure that the new journal would not compete with smaller subspecialty journals.
Establishment of The Journal of Neuroscience
Wiesel, Snyder, and Kandel recommended as the first editor-in-chief Maxwell Cowan,106 a neurobiologist whose own work integrated neurochemistry, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, and the highly regarded editor of The Journal of Comparative Neurology.107
Nearly an entire issue of Neuroscience Newsletter was devoted to the call for papers for the first issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. The new publication, for which SfN partnered with an external publisher, would include papers representing all areas of the field, and authors were encouraged to submit their papers for review to one of the five section editors: Solomon Snyder, molecular neuroscience; Michael Bennett, cellular neuroscience; Gerald Fischbach, developmental neuroscience; Eric Kandel, behavioral neuroscience; and Edward Evarts and R.W. Guillery, neural systems. These divisions “collectively cover the entire spectrum of neuroscience and reflect the broad, interdisciplinary character of the Society,” as it had evolved since 1969 and demonstrate the importance of The Journal of Neuroscience as an integrative force in the field.108
Although The Journal of Neuroscience, under Cowan’s leadership until 1987, soon “became recognized as one of the premier periodicals in the field, and most importantly, the one for which many members reserved their best work,” both the external publisher and the Society initially sustained financial losses from its publication. After several months of negotiation and consideration, the Society signed a new contract with Oxford University Press that would reduce subscription costs to individual members and provide more revenue to the Society. This contract remained in force until the Society developed the capability for in-house publication and brought The Journal of Neuroscience under its own wing in 1996.
Taking the Journal in House and Online
Creating the Self in American Culture: Neuroscience and the Media
By any measure, the public exposure to neuroscientific findings increased dramatically over the 1970s and 1980s. Figure 25 depicts the occurrences of the word “neuroscience” in The New York Times from 1960 to 1999.
“Neuroscience” as a word first appeared in The New York Times in a 1965 article titled, “Experts Disagree on a Worm’s I.Q,” reporting on the work of James McConnell. Using planaria as his model organism, McConnell claimed that regenerated flat worms retained conditioned learning after they had been severed in half. Despite the frivolous appearing title, the article portends to a new vision of how American culture understands the self. The reporter, addressing what would later be taken for granted by educated readers but was far from obvious in the psychologically minded 1950s and 1960s, outlined the importance of this research: “The discovery raised some startling possibilities. Previous theories were expressed in purely psychological terms unrelated to physical structures in the brain.” The “startling” finding, according to the article, was that “memory” was embodied, “that the act of learning produced a discreet physical change throughout the body.”
If mention in The New York Times can be taken as a barometer of cultural and popular significance, the importance of neuroscience grew enormously over the three decades from 1970 to 1999. As the 1965 article suggests, neuroscientific knowledge and the popular diffusion of this knowledge had a deeper significance than simply adding another layer of complexity to Americans’ understanding of their brains. The new neuroscience helped to radically remake how the self was (and is) understood. This transformation was graphically illustrated on the covers of Time magazine. Sigmund Freud’s first appearance on the cover of Time in 1924 reflected a growing American romance with psychoanalysis that reached a peak by the mid-to-late-1950s. American psychiatrists and émigré European psychoanalysts initiated and then fostered the American embrace of psychoanalysis. In the early decades of the 20th century, the American profession had held fairly diverse views regarding the nature of psychological suffering and had no over-arching, dominant theory to guide practice. Psychoanalysis, in contrast, provided psychiatry with a grand synthesis, linking the instinctual drives of the body and individual suffering and the psychosocial world of relationships, meaning, and social life. In short, psychodynamic psychiatry provided a framework that merged, however uneasily, both somatic and psychosocial orientations toward psychiatric illness. For the public, a simplified version of Freud’s tenets provided post-World War II Americans with a new and interesting language by which to understand and explain ordinary miseries of everyday life, a discourse that also offered a hopeful solution through psychotherapy and insight.
The last time Freud graced the cover of Time was in November 1993 with the question, “Is Freud Dead?” Though psychoanalysis had been quite marginalized over the previous 20 years, this particular depiction of Freud, with his head falling to pieces and the query about his passing, underlines a cultural shift in how Americans understood the self. The Time cover of December 3, 2007 leaves little doubt as the direction of this shift — depicting the mysteries of human behavior, from the soaring heights of Mahatma Gandhi to the depths of Adolf Hitler’s depravity, as problems to be solved directly within the brain.
The decline of psychoanalysis from the American cultural landscape has multiple causes. But these images from Time suggest, one of the most significant or — at the very least, most visible sources of the near extinction of psychoanalysis — has been the spectacular rise of neuroscience as an identifiable and powerful discipline with an exponentially growing store of new facts at hand to explain behavior as brain based.
This is a story in which SfN played a critical, if not the major, role, always in the background, providing the stage and organizational context by which individual scientists and their findings could become powerful cultural resources as well as pieces of an increasingly complicated neuroscientific puzzle.
SfN leaders presciently realized that the Society could “help direct attention to the importance of neuroscience for the future intellectual and emotional well-being of this country.”111 The Society’s officers understood that the support of a broad public was essential not just to ensuring funding, but to maintaining public confidence and preserving the freedom of scientists to manage those resources, through research, for the public benefit. Neal Miller in particular, as president 1971-72 and subsequently as chair of the Public Information Committee, took steps to increase public understanding of neuroscience through the careful cultivation of media relationships.
In 1975, the Society hired a public relations consultant to highlight neuroscience achievements through press releases and press conferences, as well as to manage publicity for public events.112 Realizing the importance of science literacy for accurate news reporting on neuroscience, Miller’s committee sponsored the first Science Writers’ Seminar in 1976, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation, at Airlie House in Virginia.113 “In an atmosphere conducive to relaxation and unhurried contemplation of science,” 25 writers from newspapers and magazines spent three days learning about specific topics in neuroscience from 16 SfN representatives.114 The journalists responded enthusiastically; within two weeks, several articles on neuroscience topics appeared in national publications such as Newsweek, The National Observer, and Science News.115 As Figure 25 illustrates, “neuroscience” became a regular news topic soon after SfN began its efforts to educate and intrigue reporters. Thanks to the success of this seminar and those that followed, journalists from a range of media outlets regularly attended the annual meetings and identified SfN as the best resource for information about breakthroughs in the field.116 The 1986 annual meeting was particularly successful in this regard; 109 journalists attended and were directed to stories about recent innovative scientific work.117 Once again, the practical applications of neuroscience attracted the most attention. Major news outlets such as The New York Times featured reports of the discovery by Peter Davies and Benjamin Wolozin at Boston University of a possible antibody test to detect Alzheimer’s disease.118
Neuroscientist as Citizen
For SfN, shaping a positive cultural image in the popular media was not simply a public relations exercise. Despite the aspirations of the 17th-century pioneers — men such as Rene Descartes, Robert Boyle, Henry Oldenburg and Isaac Newton — who originated the principles of experimental science to devise a method unsullied by the social world, scientists have always been in an active struggle with and sometimes against the larger world in which their practices are embedded.119 The 20th century made this an especially painful and unavoidable fact. With its horrors of race hygiene, genocide, and the creation of an ever-present specter of mass annihilation by nuclear weapons, World War II elevated this truism to potentially nightmarish proportions. The social and cultural turbulence of the 1960s added a new twist to scientists’ involvement with social causes, whether it was the Vietnam War, civil rights, the “war on poverty,” or nuclear disarmament.
Neuroscientists were not immune to these larger cultural currents and SfN members used the annual meeting as an opportunity to examine social issues. Under the chairmanships of Louis Irwin, Linda Hall, and Stephanie Bird in the 1980s, the Social Issues Committee ran roundtable discussions for members, with experts from various disciplines speaking on socially and politically sensitive topics, such as torture as a public health threat, life and death decision making, cognitive enhancers, the clinical use of fetal tissue, and neurotoxins in the diet. The Committee alerted the SfN Council to public debates that were relevant to neuroscience, such as psychosurgery, or to international events that affected the scientific community.120
Social Issues Committee
The Cold War also stirred concerns among Society members. In 1980, the Council authorized Sol Snyder to send a telegram to the USSR Academy of Science on behalf of SfN to protest the treatment of Andrei Sakharov, the Nobel Peace Prize winning physicist who was being held under house arrest in Gorky. Not surprisingly, the rationale for intervening on Sakharov’s behalf reflected both scientific and Western political cultural values: “This cynical treatment of a world-renowned scientist will further suppress the universality of knowledge and the fundamental rights of human beings at a time of international tension.”121
On other occasions, the resolutions were purely humanitarian in nature. For example, in 1979, Janice Stevens introduced a resolution in response to the recently reported genocide in Cambodia. Her proposal was brought to the floor and the business meeting voted unanimously to send a telegram to President Jimmy Carter urging him to “save what is left of the Cambodian people.”122
Neuroscientists Under Siege
The Society’s activism on larger social questions did not significantly alter the nature of either the Society or the practice of science. But in the 1980s, the growing animal rights movement aimed directly at the heart of scientific practice, not just the work of neuroscientists but of all researchers whose work involved the use of non-human animals. With this battle, the Society found itself forced to redefine and defend its carefully burnished cultural image, while taking a strong political stance to protect the work and independence of its members.
Though antivivisection has been intertwined with the prevention of cruelty toward farm, circus, and companion animals, the effort to end animal experimentation has its own unique history. The modern history of antivivisectionism has its origins in mid-19th century Europe with the growth of laboratory-based medical science. The wife of French scientist Claude Bernard, a major exponent of animal experimentation, publicly opposed the practice. In 1876, the antivivisectionists persuaded the British Parliament to pass the Cruelty to Animals Act, though the bill was significantly weaker than they had originally hoped because of the organized medical profession’s strong opposition. As the U.S. lacked a strong research base in the 19th century, opposition was less strident there than in Europe. During and immediately after World War II, public confidence in science was high, reflecting the introduction of drugs like penicillin and cortisone, life-saving heart and cancer surgeries, and vaccines for polio and other infectious diseases. The rebellious 1960s saw a resurgence of antivivisectionist activity, adapting tactics from the antiwar and civil rights movements. The movement intensified in the 1980s as, with rising stridency, groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used legal tactics and sophisticated use of media to draw public attention to animal experimentation, while other organizations, including the Animal Liberation Front, willingly broke the law in order to steal data and release laboratory animals. And as the United States grew into the global center of medical research, the country became the epicenter of antivivisectionism.
The growing visibility of neuroscience and the resonance of animals used as models in pain or spinal injury research made neuroscientists frequent targets of a growing antivivisectionist movement, which described itself as pro-“animal rights.” These groups often targeted neuroscientists who used mammals such as primates, dogs, or cats in their research. Some members of the SfN leadership felt that “neuroscientists have a special responsibility to join the discussion of animal rights because of our special knowledge of the nervous system, perception, and behavior.” The members of the Social Issues Committee and other SfN groups planned “a serious response” to the practical and philosophical questions raised by the animal rights movement.123
However, the Taub case of the 1980s, in which Maryland behavioral researcher Edward Taub was charged with 119 counts of animal cruelty and failure to provide veterinary care for 17 macaque monkeys used in his studies of the sensorimotor system, forced the Society to react to unanticipated challenges rather than to attempt to set the tone for a national conversation about the treatment of animals.124 The Society was unprepared for the ferocity of the animal rights movement and its skilled use of media. The Taub case vividly highlights the methods of the animal rights movement, which included lab break-ins, seizure of data and animals, and the distribution of graphic and often inaccurate photographs to the media.
Taub was exonerated of all charges by the courts and his NIH funding was restored after SfN marshaled resources for his defense and enlisted 66 scientific organizations to join a statement of support. He moved to the University of Alabama, where his research findings became the basis for constraint-induced movement therapy, based on the ability of the central nervous system to remap and functionally readapt, or neuroplasticity, which has often helped stroke victims to regain the use of long-paralyzed limbs. The Society continued to publicly support Taub, citing his work in 2007 as one of the top 10 translational neuroscience accomplishments of the 20th century. The Taub case, however, was a public relations victory for PETA, which has persisted in demonizing NIH and other federal funding sources as the financial backers of cruelty to animals, leveraging the negative publicity to persuade lawmakers to pass strict antivivisection laws on the state and national levels.
Adapting a proactive strategy, SfN formed the Committee on Animals in Research (CAR) as a standing committee in 1985.125 SfN also joined other organizations, including the Scientists’ Center for Animal Welfare, American Association of Medical Colleges, Incurably Ill for Animal Research, and the National Association for Biomedical Research (and later its advocacy arm, the Foundation for Biomedical Research), in presenting animal research as a positive, necessary part of modern scientific and medical practice. Council members contacted leaders of other organizations, particularly disease and clinical organizations, to urge them to publicize the importance of animal research.126 The Society joined amicus briefs for legal cases and provided congressional testimony on proposed legislation that would limit access to animals or tighten existing laws against animal cruelty.127
Animal Research Protests involving SfN Members 1984-1993
|1982-84||Behavioral Research Institute, Silver Spring, MD||Edward Taub||PETA infiltrated lab and monkeys were removed.|
|1984-85||University of Pennsylvania Head Injury Clinic, Philadelphia, PA||Thomas Gennarelli||ALF broke into the lab, removed videotapes removed and computers and destroyed research data. PETA created “Unnecessary Fuss” video from the footage they stole.|
|1985||National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD||PETA broke in to NIH offices and occupied them for two days to protest the Penn Head Injury Clinic|
|1987||Cornell Medical College, New York, NY||Michiko Okamoto||Protests outside of her lab and university pressure on Dr. Okamoto to refuse a federal grant for her research.|
|1987-88||University of Oregon, Eugene, OR||Barbara Gordon-Lickey and Richard Marrocco||ALF broke into two laboratories and stole more than 125 animals and caused $50,000 in property damage.|
|1988||University of California, Berkeley, CA||Richard Van Sluyters||Public relations attack on Van Sluyters.|
|1989||California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA||Terry Takahashi|
|1990||University of Pennsylvania, Philadephia, PA||Adrian Morrison||ALF vandalized Dr. Morrison’s lab and office and stole files, computer discs and other materials|
|1991||Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD||Sharon Juliano||Protests outside of her home, threats to her family.|
|1993||University of Pittsburgh, PA||Robert Schor and Allen Humphrey|
|1993||Boston University, Boston, MA||Bertram Payne|
SfN’s initiatives in educating students and the general public about the field were also important strategies to counter the claims of the animal rights activists.
- Talcott Parsons, “The Professions and Social Structure.” In Essays in Sociological Theory. New York: Free Press (1954): 34-49; Andrew Abbott, “The Future of Professions.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations 8 (1991): 17-42; Ivan Waddington, “The Movement Toward the Professionalization of Medicine.” British Medical Journal 301 (October 3, 1990): 688-690.
- Minutes of August 4, 1972 Education Committee Meeting, Neuroscience and Education 1971-1975 Folder, Louise Marshall Papers, UCLA.
- Louise H. Marshall, “Neuroscientists: Present Status and Future Needs.” NN 9:1, March 1978, p. 4-5; Louise H. Marshall, “Maturation and Current Status of Neuroscience: Data from the 1976 Inventory of U.S. Neuroscientists” Experimental Neurology 64 (1979): 1-32 AND OTHERS
- David H. Cohen “Conference on Projecting the Future Needs of Neuroscience” NN 9:2, June 1978, p. 3. Agencies represented at the meeting included the National Institute on Aging, National Eye Institute, National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders, National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, American Psychological Association, American Association of Medical Colleges, Veterans Administration, Office of Science and Technology Policy Assessment (White House).
- Barry H. Smith and David H. Cohen “Society for Neuroscience Conference: Projecting Future Needs of Neuroscience” NN 9:4, December 1978 p. 1, 3.
- David H. Cohen, Floyd Bloom, Jack Diamond and Dominick Purpura, “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning.” November 1983: p. 19.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 2.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 5.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 6-8.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 13.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 15.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 14-17.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning,” p. 19.
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning.”
- See Margaret W. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America, Volume 2: Before Affirmative Action, 1940-1972, Chapter 16 “Path to Liberation” (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).
- Manpower in Basic and Communicative Sciences: Present Status and Future Needs DHEW Publication No. (NIH) 78-1469, 1977, p. 72-4.
- Louise H. Marshall, “Maturation and Current Status of Neuroscience: Data from the 1976 Inventory of U. S. Neuroscientists” Experimental Neurology 64 (1979): 1-32, p. 11-2.
- Margaret W. Rossiter, Women Scientists in America, Volume 3: Forging a New World since 1972, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012, p. 13-14.
- “Highlights of the Anaheim Council Meetings” NN 8:4, December 1977, p. 1.
- W. Maxwell Cowan, “Response to ERA Opinion Poll” NN 9:2, June 1978, p. 3.
- Minutes of 17th Council Meeting, November 5, 1978, p. 3
- “Preliminary Report of the Steering Committee for Long-Range Planning” November 1983, p. 8. SfN Archives.
- Laurel L. Haak, “Women In Neuroscience (WIN): The First Twenty Years” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 11 (2002): 70-79, p. 70.
- In its early days, Women in Neuroscience used the acronym “WIN”. “WiN” is the current acronym.
- “Women in Neuroscience” NN 12:3, May 1981, p. 6.
- Nancy Oley, “Women in Neuroscience” NN 13:5, September/October 1982, p. 6.
- Jennifer Buchwald, “Women in Neuroscience: 1980-1983” NN14:4, July/August 1983, p. 7.
- Nancy Oley, “A Profile of Women in the Society for Neuroscience” NN 14:1, January/February 1983, p. 4-5, 16.
- Michael J. Zigmond and Linda P. Spear, “Neuroscience Training in the USA and Canada: observations and suggestions” TINS 15 (1992): 379-383; Marcia Barinaga, “Profile of a Field: Neuroscience” Science 255 (March 10, 1992): 1366-7. Dean O. Smith, “Gender Disparity in the Academic Pipeline: Women in Neuroscience” Synapse 14(1993):332-4.
- Laurel L. Haak, “Women In Neuroscience (WIN): The First Twenty Years” Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 11 (2002): 70-79, p. 74.
- “Early Results of the 1995 Membership Survey” NN 27:5, September/October 1996, p. 6.
- Manpower in Basic Neurologic and Communicative Sciences, p. 73; Adolph Y. Wilburn, “Careers in Science and Engineering for Black Americans” Science 184 (June 14, 1974): 1148-1154.
- Torsten Wiesel, “Neuroscience Programs for Disadvantaged Students” NN 10:3, September 1979, p 3, 9. See also Minutes of 19th Council Meeting, April 17, 1979, p. 9-10 and Minutes of 20th Council Meeting, November 2, 1979, p. 6.
- “Social Issues Committee” NN 10:4, December 1979, p. 4-5.
- http://www.sfn.org/~/media/SfN/Documents/Professional Development/NSP/NSP_brochure_cover.ashx.
- William Hodos, “A Profile of the Society for Neuroscience” NN 13(6), November/December 1982, p. 1-2.
- Willie Pearson, Jr., “The Flow of Black Scientific Talent: Leaks in the Pipeline” Humboldt Journal of Social Relations Vol 14 (1/2 Black America in the 1980s) 1987: 44-61.
- Zigmond and Spear, “Neuroscience Training” p. 379; Daniel G. Solorzano, “The Doctorate Production and Baccalaureate Origins of African Americans in the Sciences and Engineering” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Winter, 1995): 15-32.
- See for example Minutes of 7th Council Meeting, November 1973, p. 9; 8th Council Meeting, October 20, 1974, p. 9-11;
- Minutes of 20th Council Meeting, November 2, 1979, p. 16-17.
- “Dr. W.M. Cowan, 70, Scientist with Hughes Medical Institute, Dies,” The New York Times, July 8, 2002. Accessed May 23, 2014.
- “Journal of Neuroscience Instructions to Authors,” Neuroscience Newsletter Volume 11 Number 2, June 1980, p.1, 3.
- Dale Purves, “Society Chooses New Publisher for The Journal of Neuroscience” NN 16:4, July/August 1985, p. 1-2, 6.
- “Search for New Editor-In-Chief of The Journal of Neuroscience” NN 19:1, January/February 1988, p. 5; William J. Willis, Jr., “W. Maxwell Cowan and The Journal of Neuroscience” and “The Journal of Neuroscience in Transition” NN 19:2, March/April 1988, p. 6-7.
- Sidney Ochs to Ralph W. Gerard, June 7, 1968, Organization of Brain Sciences, 1st Meeting, 1967-69 Folder, Marshall Papers, UCLA.
- Fifth Annual Meeting Publicity Materials, SfN Archive; “Public Information Committee” NN 7:1 March 1976, p.4.
- “Science Writers’ Seminar – Reverberations” NN 7:3, September 1976, p. 6.
- “SN Science Writers’ Seminar – Success” NN 7:2, June 1976, p. 4.
- Matt Clark, “Drugs and Schizophrenia,” Newsweek, May 17, 1976; Patrick Young, “Natural Painkiller” The National Observer May 15, 1976 (both cited in “Science Writers’ Seminar – Reverberations” NN 7:3, September 1976, p. 6.); “Pain as a Passion” Science News Volume 109, Number 20, May 15, 1976, p. 309-310; “Neuroscience: An Explosive Arena” Science News Volume 109, Number 21, May 22, 1976, p. 330
- Barry H. Smith, “Seminar for Science Writers” NN 12:3, May 1981, p. 6; Barry H. Smith, “1983 Science Writers’ Seminar” NN 14:3, May/June 1983, p. 4; “New Annual Science Writers’ Seminar” NN 18:1, January/February 1987, p. 4.
- Thomas Woolsey and Marianne Glass Duffy, “Press at the Meeting: Meeting the Press” NN 18:1, January/February 1987, p. 1-2.
- Lawrence K. Altman, “Doctor’s World: Alzheimer’s Progress in the Midst of Despair” The New York Times November 18, 1986; Deborah M. Barnes, “Neurosciences Advance in Basic and Clinical Realms: A Possible Diagnostic Test for Alzheimer’s?” Science New Series, Vol 234, December 12, 1986, p. 1324; Interview with Benjamin Wolozin, November 2013.
- Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life, Princeton University Press, 1985; Steven Shapin, The Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
- Stephanie J. Bird, “Life and Death Decisions: A Role for Neuroscience?” NN 17:5. September/October 1986, p. 6-7, 13; Linda M. Hall and Martin Chalfie, “Social Issues Committee Urges Neuroscientists to Join Campaign to Abolish Torture.” NN 16:5, September/October 1985, p. 8. Next draft: Transcripts from SfN 2013 interviews
- “SN Protests Action Against Sakharov,” NN 11:1, March 1980, p.1.
- “Cambodian Resolution,” NN 10:4, p. 2.
- Louis Irwin and Key Dismukes, “Animal Welfare: Public Issues and Scientists’ Concerns” NN 12:6, November 1981, p. 2.
- Working at the Institute of Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, Taub ligated the sensory afferent ganglia linking the monkeys’ arms to their brains and was attempting to train them to use the limbs despite the lack of sensation. PETA member Alex Pacheco had been working undercover at the lab and provided the information leading to the police raid, seizure of the monkeys and charges against Taub. After some ten years in limbo, after the Supreme Court rejected PETA’s final appeal, the remaining monkeys were sacrificed and dissected. Major cortical remapping was found in their brains; Taub was able to use this data to develop constraint-induced movement therapy in his new research, leading to the rehabilitation of stroke and paralysis victims.
- 1984-5 Committee on Animals in Research Report to Council, June 1985, CAR Files, SfN.
- Memorandum from William D. Willis to SfN Council, July 30, 1985, CAR Files, SfN Archive.
- For examples, see: Testimony of Donald J. Reis, published in Neuroscience Newsletter 17:3, May/June 1986, p. 1, 3-6.