Stay connected with the neuroscience community and your local communities as the globe continues to confront COVID-19. SfN’s Confronting COVID-19 hosts a collection of news and resources about the challenges confronting the neuroscience community and currently features relevant advocacy and outreach resources under “Career Development Resources.”
NeuroAdvocate Challenge: July 2020
As SfN is continually developing more resources to help you advocate under the new circumstances, you can continue to carry out advocacy activities this month:
- Watch the Neuronline webinar “Black Lives Matter and Neuroscience: Why This Moment Matters.”
- Read SfN’s statement on the administration’s executive order concerning non-immigrant visa restrictions in the U.S.
- Share on social media how your research benefits the public, and ask your members of Congress to #fundhealth and #fundscience.
- Learn about tips on how to develop a digital chapter.
These activities and more are part of SfN’s year-long NeuroAdvocate Challenge. Help advocate with SfN by signing up for the challenge today. Active participants will be recognized for their efforts and into a drawing to attend SfN’s 15th Capitol Hill Day in 2021.
View previous activities that have been rolled out to date, and make sure to report back completed activities to be recognized for your efforts.
Tell Congress to Support Biomedical Research Funding in FY 21 and the Next COVID-19 Relief Package
The House and Senate are negotiating details for FY 21 funding levels, as well as the next COVID-19 relief package. This includes funds for research at NIH, NSF, VA, and other agencies. Join your fellow NeuroAdvocates and tell Congress to ensure that funding for biomedical research is included at adequate levels and to not forget the relief needed by researchers and investigators across the country.
Federal Advocacy News
- Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan has been confirmed by the Senate to be NSF’s 15th director. Panch has a long career in the field of engineering, helping to develop devices that aid people with disabilities. Panch immigrated to Canada and then the United States from India, earning many awards and accolades in his field. Panch was nominated by President Obama as a member of the National Science Board of National Science Foundation and then nominated by President Trump as director of the same.
- Reps. Diana Degette (D-CO-1) and Fred Upton (R-MI-6) introduced bipartisan legislation titled “Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act” on June 24. The bill acknowledges the disruption to federally funded research due to coronavirus and would authorize approximately $26 billion in supplemental funding for federal research agencies. Along with coalition partners, SfN has signed on in support of this legislation.
"Science is Better When We Open Our Doors to Immigrants”
Neuroscientist and Early Career Policy Ambassador at SfN, Ubadah Sabbagh, wrote an opinion piece published by the Washington Post on the importance of immigration to science. Sabbagh, a researcher at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech, wrote specifically about the economic and employment impact that skilled immigrants have when given the chance.
Animals in Research – Public Opinion and Government Acceptance
In a recently-published report on the viewed morality of issues, it has come to light that 56% of Americans view using animals in research as morally acceptable. This is up from 51% in 2019. This news is coupled with a recent report by the European Parliament’s Committee on Petitions in response to an animal rights petition that seeks a “Europe-wide moratorium on the use of animals in scientific research.” The Commission’s response highlighted the importance of animal models in scientific research in no uncertain terms. This view by the Commission resembles strongly statements made by Dr. Anthony Fauci on March 26.
RFI: Enhancing Rigor, Transparency, and Translatability to Improve Biomedical Research Involving Animal Models
NIH posted an RFI to help improve scientific rigor of the research the institutes support. The comments sought relate to rigor and transparency, optimizing the relevance to human biology and disease, and research culture. The RFI is up until July 31.
NC3Rs Survey on Rodent High-Yield Behavioural Experiments
NC3Rs is seeking researchers to take part in a survey on rodent high-yield behavioural experiments. The survey covers chronic implant surgeries, how animals are monitored post-operatively, motivational tools, and behavioural testing protocols. The survey will close on July 10.
International News Headlines
- Hong Kong universities react to the new security law.
- South Africa slashes science budget, funds for giant radio telescope.
- Thousands of scientists worldwide went on strike for Black lives.
- Europe bets R&D spending will bring jobs to battered economy.
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Contact your legislator about research funding 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.
- Download the SfN Advocacy App for your Apple or Android device to have all your advocacy resources in one place.
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in preparing for your next advocacy effort at home or on Capitol Hill.