Year in Wrap
SfN advocates and the biomedical research community had success in 2020, with increases to NIH and NSF in the FY 21 appropriations bills for the sixth consecutive year. SfN members played a significant part in legislative efforts, participating in 81 legislative meetings during Hill Day and sending nearly 2,000 messages. SfN acknowledges that measures taken to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic have made in-person lab tours and other advocacy efforts difficult. Despite this challenge, SfN has worked with advocates to continue their work through new avenues, particularly the NeuroAdvocate Challenge.
SfN staff conducted advocacy training seminars for more than 107 NeuroAdvocates in person and virtually, and successfully recruited advocates to participate in the NeuroAdvocate Challenge. SfN will continue its work to highlight neuroscience research as a critical investment with Congress. The Society thanks all who have supported and joined our advocacy efforts and looks forward to a constructive 2021.
Find Your Congressperson, Introduce Yourself, And Make Sure They Join the Congressional Neuroscience Caucus
The 117th Congress is newly sworn in. SfN provides you the tools to find out who your representatives and senators are so you can begin forging personal relationships with them. Send your Representative and Senators a message introducing yourself via SfN’s Advocacy Action Center.
Federal News Roundup
The RISE Act has been introduced by Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) in the Senate, and by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO-01) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6) in the House. This bipartisan bill would authorize $26 billion in funding to restart research and repair damages induced by the pandemic across the research ecosystem. $10 billion would be specifically designated for NIH to address the setbacks the Institutes have faced since the outbreak of COVID-19.
SfN Global Connectome
In January, the world's largest neuroscience community gathered for SfN Global Connectome: A Virtual Event. This brand-new, cross-cutting digital neuroscience event was designed to facilitate scientific exchange around the globe and across the field, providing scientists at all career stages, of all disciplines, with opportunities to learn, collaborate, and connect. SfN Global Connectome is now over, but you can still register and discover unique sessions and events. All sessions will be available to view on demand until April 13, 2021, and digital posters will be available to view until February 13, 2021.
NeuroAdvocate Challenge Winners Announced
The winners of SfN’s 50th Anniversary NeuroAdvocate Challenge are Christin Godale of the University of Cincinnati, and Rachel Haake of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Together, both have reported back 200 advocacy activities since Neuroscience 2019 — ranging from work progressing their local science policy organizations to involvement in various online advocacy activities — on top of most of SfN’s recommended challenge activities. Learn more about the challenge and check out the other top NeuroAdvocates. Congratulations to both winners!
AMP Releases New Video Highlighting the Importance of Animal Models in Research
The latest video in AMP’s COVID-19 series explains how animals are helping to defeat the novel coronavirus. The video, titled “How Animal Research Led to Two COVID-19 Vaccines in Record Time”, tells the story of how researchers were able to create multiple vaccines for a novel virus safely and quickly. This progress would have been impossible without animal models, and this video hopes to explain to the public how important the entirety of scientific research is.
NSF RFI: Interdisciplinary Frontiers of Understanding the Brain
Exciting new opportunities at the interface of neuroscience and other sciences and engineering disciplines, catalyzed by transformative new discoveries and technologies, are poised to reshape brain research and its applications. The National Science Foundation seeks community input that illuminates these interdisciplinary opportunities, from theory to applications, and points to how they might best be realized. Deadline for submission is March 31, 2021.
International News Headlines
- 25 leading researchers join EU-funded actions to teach students about trustworthy science.
- Japan, UK, Philippines push for sustainable development through funding of researchers.
- 55 scientists funded to explore their research’s commercial potential.
- New science policy draft in India focuses on enhanced funding in science and technology.
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Introduce yourself to the new Congress via the Advocacy Action Center.
- Watch the Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy series to understand the tools you need to help advance the field.
- Learn how to engage your members of Congress and persuasively advocate for science with SfN's Advocacy Best Practices.
- Get involved in global advocacy.
- Talk to the public about the importance of animal research.
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in preparing for your next advocacy effort at home or on Capitol Hill.