May 9, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Conflict Swirls as U.S. House Nears Vote on Permanent R&D Tax Break
May 7, 2014 | Science Insider
The U.S. House of Representatives is nearing a vote on a bill that would make a popular tax break for corporate research spending a permanent part of the tax code. The White House opposes the proposal because it provides no mechanism for recovering the lost government revenue.
Campaign Targeting Animal Experimenter Causes Uproar in Germany
May 7, 2014 | Science Insider
A national ad campaign targeting the work of SfN member Andreas Kreiter has caused the German scientific community to speak out. The Alliance of Scientific Organizations in Germany published a statement against the full-page ads, which appeared in regional and national newspapers in April.
- Read the new BrainFacts.org article Why Animals are Vital to Brain Research
Finding a Path to 21st Century Cures
May 6, 2014 | Huffington Post
Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, and Commerce, and Diana DeGette (D-CO), member of same committee, published this article about exploring opportunities to facilitate the development of medical therapies. They announced a bipartisan effort to bring together "NIH, FDA, NGOs, private industry, academics, medical professionals, philanthropists, and patients - so that we can generate better health outcomes and ultimately save more lives."
- Invite your member of Congress to tour your lab so they can see firsthand how scientific research is advancing the development of treatments and cures.
Excessive Regulations Turning Scientists into Bureaucrats
May 1, 2014 | NSF
The National Science Board (NSB) has released a new report addressing how an increase in administrative workload for federally funded researchers is interfering with their ability to conduct science. NSB, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation and advisor to Congress and the President, suggest creating permanent high-level, inter-agency, inter-sector committee to streamline research regulations and requirements across federal agencies.
- Check out the Q&A with members of the Interagency Working Group on Neuroscience where they discuss their new report on “concrete actions the federal government can take to enable acceleration of progress.”
Articles of Interest
Wiring of Retina Reveals How Eyes Sense Motion
May 4, 2014 | Nature
A vast project to map neural connections in the mouse retina may have answered the long-standing question of how the eyes detect motion. With the help of volunteers who played an online brain-mapping game called EyeWire, researchers showed that pairs of neurons positioned along a given direction together cause a third neuron to fire in response to images moving in the same direction.
- Share more information about the neuroscience of vision with the public. Check out this video How We See Color at BrainFacts.org.
What Makes Congress’s Latest Effort to Curb Science Funding So Dangerous?
May 8, 2014 | Scientific American
Neal Lane, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy during part of the Clinton administration, speaks about his concern with the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014 in an interview with Scientific American. The bill would affect NSF and require the agency to provide justifications to Congress for why grants that receive taxpayer dollars are in the national interest.
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