July 4, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Can Europe Map the Human Brain?
June 27, 2014 | Bloomberg
The European Union’s $1.6 billion Human Brain Project aims to build a specialized supercomputer capable of replicating the human brain in order to compile as much scientific data on the brain as it can find. The supercomputer will be the project's legacy and will hopefully have clinical uses as well.
- Check out the Global Advocacy section of SfN.org to learn about neuroscience programs and partnerships around the world.
Data Check: U.S. Producing More STEM Graduates Even Without Proposed Initiatives
June 30, 2014 | Science Insider
Despite the failure of the U.S. Congress to approve most of the new programs and federal investments requested by the White House, the United States appears to still be adding new STEM graduates to the workforce.
- Stay up-to-date on U.S. and international investments in STEM programs by joining the Advocacy Network.
French Science Needs ‘Smarter’ Spending, OECD Says
July 1, 2014 | Nature News Blog
An international economic organization, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), released a report stating that France’s scientific tradition is in peril, and blamed it on the country’s lack of reform. The report states the country’s science funding agency has problems and lack of partnership research with business — despite a huge increase in public funding in that direction also stifles research progress. Read the full report »
- Read about the award given to the French Neuroscience Society through the FENS-SFN advocacy grant program.
Articles of Interest
Secrets of the Creative Brain
June 25, 2014 | The Atlantic
SfN member Nancy Andreasen writes about her work on the relationship between creativity, genius, and mental illness in this longform article.
- Read about creativity and the brain events at last year’s Neuroscience 2013.
Noninvasive Brain Control Is Real — and That’s Good
June 30, 2014 | Time
Ed Boyden, associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, has developed a new opsin protein that is sensitive to red light, which can penetrate the scalp and skull — allowing control of brain activity without invasive fiber-optic cables entering the brain.
- Viviana Gradinaru’s TEDx talk on Brain Control with Light is available through Educational Resources in Neuroscience.
Q&A: Life After a Ph.D.
July 1, 2014 | Science Careers
An interview with the founders of Careers Advisers supporting Researchers in Europe (CARE) which focuses on two career sessions held at Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2014, both of which explored employment prospects after finishing graduate school.
- Check out the NeuroJobs Career Center to find your next position.
Why Brain Research is Vital
June 28, 2014 | USA Today
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and Husseini Manji, head of neuroscience research at Janssen Research & Development, make the case for why the BRAIN Initiative is a critical investment.
- Read SfN’s policy position on Mental Health Insurance Parity.
Basic Research Still the Best Bet to Boost S&T Innovation
July 2, 2014 | The Black Hole
A blog post discusses a recent report issued by the federal government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development, which was established to provide advice on maximizing the effectiveness of federal support for basic research. The author states that the panel’s findings suggest that Canada is not well positioned to be an innovation leader. Instead, the author recommends that Canada focus on expanding the country’s ability to engage in early basic research.
- Read more about research initiatives worldwide on BrainFacts.org.
A Thriving Research Sector Is Not Just About the Money
July 3, 2014 | Technology Spectator
Steven Tingay, professor of Radio Astronomy at Curtin University, opines that Australian science will survive low funding cycles, but argues that taxpayer dollars are better spent on innovation than sheer survival of the research industry. He also argues that stability and predictability are more important than the level of support, once that support reaches a certain threshold.
- Read more arguments in favor of research funding on SfN’s Science Funding Advocacy Tools page.