Feb. 28, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
A Bright Future for Brain Research
Feb. 27, 2014 | Australian Life Scientist
The creation of the Australian Brain Initiative, AusBrain, is the main focus of a recently released report to improve and better coordinate Australia's efforts in brain research. The government hopes to give an additional $200 million to research, particularly in the area of dementia.
- Watch “Understanding New Brain Initiatives in the United States and Europe,” a presentation from Neuroscience 2013 featuring representatives from the U.S. federal agencies that support the BRAIN Initiative and a program officer from the Human Brain Project in Europe.
Smith and Bucshon: Investing in Science Research to Keep America Competitive
Feb. 26, 2014 | The Washington Times
Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, and Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Research and Technology express concern about American's ability to remain the dominate nation in research and discovery. They suggest making smarter investments in research through changes to the National Science Foundation's grant process.
- Consider setting up a meeting with your legislature to make your case for science.
Alan Alda, Spokesman for Science
Feb. 24, 2014 | The New York Times
The actor turned educator talks about how science can be made clearer and more accessible to the public and that scientists should resist going into "lecture mode." Mr. Alda discusses how the Center for Communicating Science uses acting improvisations to teach scientists to become better communicators.
- Find resources to write your own op-ed or letter to the editor for your local newspaper SfN.org/advocacy.
A White House Call To Action to Advance the BRAIN Initiative
Feb. 24, 2014 | Office of Science and Technology Policy
The Office of Science and Technology Policy is collecting information about the activities of companies, nonprofits, or universities that align with the President's call to action to catalyze investments and new collaborations that advance our understanding of the brain. Submissions are due May 1, 2014.
Does Medicine Really Need Lab Mice?
Feb. 23, 2014 | BBC
Even though alternatives for drug testing on animals are being explored, scientists argue that animal studies are still essential to develop safe and effective therapies.
- Watch SfN’s new webinar “Flies, Fish, and Other Animal Models: What they reveal about brain diseases and disorders” produced with the help of the American Brain Coalition.
Oversight Hearing - Federal Investments in Neuroscience Research
Feb. 27, 2014 | U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations CJS Subcommittee
John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; John Wingfield, assistant director for the Directorate of Biological Sciences at the National Science Foundation; and Alan Leshner, CEO of AAAS, testified at a hearing for the Commerce, Justice, and Science Committee. The hearing touched on the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative, the BRAIN Initiative, the work and results of the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience, U.S. global leadership, potential for international collaboration, and maintaining diversity among both PIs and types and locations of research institutions.
Articles of Interest
Naturally Occurring Packets Show Promise for Protecting Nerve Fibers in the Brain
Feb. 24, 2014 | Scientific American
A new study may explain how physical, intellectual and social activity protects against aging and neurological disease. SfN member Richard Kraig found that immune cells secrete packets of proteins and genetic materials, called exosomes, in response to environmental enrichment. The packets contained a type of genetic material called microRNAs which appeared to instruct immature cells in the brain to become cells that repair myelin.
- Read the full article at the Journal of Neuroimmunology.
A Campaign to Elect Scientists
February 25, 2014, Real Clear Science
The author, Shane Trimmer, believes that we need to enhance science literacy in Congress. He has created Franklin's List, a new, nonpartisan political action committee dedicated to electing scientists and other STEM professionals to public office.
- Employ one or more of our advocacy tools to get involved.
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