July 11, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
July 9, 2014 | The Guardian
More than 100 researchers have threatened to boycott the European Commission’s (EC) €1.2 b Human Brain Project (HBP) because of concerns about its narrow focus. The HBP is scheduled for review and the letter-writers would like the EC to use this opportunity to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the project.
- Learn more about HBP on the “Global Initiatives” tab of SfN’s Worldwide Neuroscience Initiatives page.
July 7, 2014 | Capital New York
Scientists are seeking philanthropic funds as the public sector decreases funds for research, whether for fiscal or ethical reasons. The science funded this way has already had a huge impact on groundbreaking discoveries and potential disease treatments.
- Learn more about federal funding for science in the U.S. by watching SfN’s webinar From Congress to Your Lab: How Federal Funding Affects Your Science.
July 6, 2014 | Politico
A summary of what we can expect from Capitol Hill this summer and leading up to the November elections.
- Keep up to date on actions in Congress that may impact your science by joining the Advocacy Network.
July 9, 2014 | LiveScience
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced that researchers at UCLA and UPenn were chosen to work on The Restoring Active Memory (RAM) program. RAM hopes to develop wireless, fully implantable "neuroprosthetics" for service members suffering from traumatic brain injury or illness. The two universities will focus on different areas of the brain and UCLA will receive up to $15 million, and the University of Pennsylvania will receive up to $22.5 million in funding, over a four-year period.
- Read about other ways science is using technology to directly assist with brain ailments on BrainFacts.org.
July 3, 2014 | Science 2.0
The Portuguese funding agency for science announced it will stop funding nearly half its research units in the country, delivering a devastating blow to science in that country.
- Learn about SfN’s partnership with the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) and the commitment to advocacy around the world.
Articles of Interest
July 2, 2014 | NewScientist
A new study in Epilepsy and Behavior adds support to Nobel laureate Francis Crick and Christ of Koch’s (Allen Institute for Brain Science) suggestion that the claustrum may give rise to “integrated conscious percepts.” The team from George Washington University were able to switch a woman's consciousness off and on by stimulating her claustrum.
- Watch Antonio Damasio speak about The Quest to Understand Consciousness on BrainFacts.org.
July 3, 2014 | Huffington Post
Scientists studying the effects of the psychedelic chemical in magic mushrooms have found the human brain displays a similar pattern of activity during dreams as it does during a mind-expanding drug trip. Researchers at Germany’s Goethe University say, “A good way to understand how the brain works is to perturb the system in a marked and novel way…and psychedelic drugs do precisely this.”
- Read the “Ask an Expert” on BrainFacts.org answering What are hallucinations?
July 9, 2014 | The New York Times
A look into the human side of direct brain recording on people with epilepsy and how DARPA’s new program, Restoring Active Memory (RAM), will explore ways to improve memory in people with traumatic brain injury.
- Learn more about RAM at SfN’s Worldwide Neuroscience Initiatives page.
July 4, 2014 | The Tennessean
SfN Policy Fellow Matthew Robson writes about the importance of adequate funding levels for the National Institutes of Health so that the U.S. can continue to be a “consistent, international force of innovation and advancement in biomedical research” and raises concerns about the current stagnation.
- Learn how SfN promotes support for science funding.
July 9, 2014 | Nature
A scientist and former director of the University Grants Commission–Department of Atomic Energy Consortium for Scientific Research in Indore, India writes that papers that plagiarize only text can still contribute to the literature, but any errors or omissions should be prominently corrected. Scientists are not necessarily writers, they “value the originality of ideas more than of language.”
- SfN’s stance on plagiarism is available online; read SfN’s Ethics Policy.
July 10, 2014 | Wall Street Journal
Are clinical trial participants unfairly put at risk because they are unaware the drugs were initially tested only on animals? The non-profit organization, Center for Responsible Science, believes the risk is substantial, but that informed consent paperwork generally fails to mention animal testing; they want the FDA to upgrade its regulations to reflect animal testing in clinical trial documentation that is given to patients.
- Listen to a podcast on the importance of clinical trials to medical research on BrainFacts.org.