July 18, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Research!America Wants Candidates on Record About Research Funding
July 14, 2014 | Metro News
Research!America is working to get candidates on the record about research ahead of the November 4 general election. To do that, they’ve launched a new ‘Ask Your Candidate’ voter education initiative — calling on voters to hold their candidates accountable.
- Suzanne Ffolkes, vice president of communications for Research!America, is a featured speaker on SfN’s upcoming webinar, Communicating Your Science to the Non-Expert: An Online Workshop.
Botswana Approves Innovation Fund
July 18, 2014 | Biztech Africa
The government of Botswana is taking steps to increase their efforts in science and engineering. The parliament approved a National Innovation Fund which will provide early stage funding for technology-based start-ups and established companies with viable innovation concepts.
- Watch SfN’s new video about global advocacy, featuring representatives from FENS and IBRO.
Research Coming Under Pressure
July 11, 2014 | The Montreal Gazette
The Montreal Gazette explores how tightening budgets are affecting researchers and students at Canadian universities as part of a series of articles about Canada’s scientific enterprise.
- Learn about the science funding process in Canada on SfN.org.
FDA Facing Criticism Over Lack of Transparency in Allocating Funds for Science Projects
July 12, 2014 | Maine News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended funding millions of dollars for studies on tobacco. It gave greater importance to scientists serving on its tobacco advisory committee and rejected several projects referred important by a NIH panel. The FDA is defending itself, saying there hasn’t been any favoritism.
- Learn more about the research funding process and how neuroscience is funded through NIH on BrainFacts.org.
Articles of Interest
Alzheimer’s Findings Seen as a Possible New Window to Understanding the Disease
July 16, 2014 | The Washington Post
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have discovered a possible link between the TAR DNA binding protein of 43kD (TDP-43), previously implicated in ALS and frontotemporal dementia, and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. After controlling for other variables, the researchers determined that people with TDP-43 deposits were 10 times more likely to be cognitively impaired at death than those without.
- Read about neurodegenerative disorders on BrainFacts.org.
The Scientific Community is Still Freaking out About Sequestration
July 11, 2014 | Huffington Post
Months after Congress restored some of the deep spending cuts it had made to scientific research budgets, scientists are warning that the fix didn't do nearly enough. At a roundtable conference held in Washington, DC on July 9, senior officials at some of the nation’s top universities said that their biomedical research projects are either in financial limbo or completely stalled.
- Learn more about sequestration on SfN’s Sequestration Action Page.
Humans Already Use Way, Way More Than 10 Percent of Their Brains
July 16, 2014 | The Atlantic
With the release of the trailer for Lucy, a sci-fi thriller about what happens when you are able to access “100 percent of your brain’s capacity,” this article explores where the myth that “you only use 10 percent of your brain” came from and why it persists.
- BrainFacts.org has tackled this “neuromyth” in Ask an Expert.
Mapping a Bolder Plan for the Brain
July 14, 2014 | The Huffington Post
U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA) writes in support of the European Human Brain Project and the U.S. BRAIN Initiative.
- Listen to Rep. Fattah speak about the importance of brain research on SfN’s webinar From Congress to Your Lab: How Federal Funding Affects Your Science.
Defending the Grand Vision of the Human Brain Project
July 16, 2014 | New Scientist
Criticism of the European Union's Human Brain Project misses the point of its unifying mission, says Richard Frackowiak, the project's co-executive director. Here, Frackowiak responds to criticisms raised in the open letter, which was posted online July 7 and has nearly 700 signatories as of July 18.
- Learn more about the future of neuroscience funding at the Public Advocacy Forum at Neuroscience 2014, titled Implications for Science Funding in an Era of Global Brain Initiatives.
Bad Science Muckrakers Question the Big Science Status Quo
July 13, 2014 | Forbes
Among the American public, trust in professional scientists and scientific journals is declining. Yet an overwhelming majority still believes that science “remains a source for good in the world.” Author Ivan Oransky, medical doctor turned journalist, discusses many of the pressures facing scientists that contribute to public opinion.
- Learn more about reproducibility of neuroscience students at the Theme G symposium presented by Story Landis and Tom Insel of NIH.