Aug. 22, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Aug. 18, 2014 | National Science Foundation
In March 2014, as part of investments made in support of the BRAIN Initiative, NSF asked researchers to submit ideas for early-stage, potentially ground-breaking new approaches to reveal how neuronal processes in the brain lead to complex behaviors. After reviewing the summaries and accepting full proposals, they awarded 36 Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) to enable new technologies to better understand how complex behaviors emerge from the activity of brain circuits.
Aug. 16, 2014 | UC San Diego News Center
Benefunder, a San Diego-based philanthropic research funding platform for higher education institutions, and UC San Diego signed an Memorandum of Understanding to allow students and faculty to receive funding for their work. Benefunder hopes to create a long-term donation pipeline that matches potential donors to research that interests them, giving researchers a wider reach and more diversified sources of funding in the future. Some say this is needed due to the decline in other types of funding sources, such as the federal government.
- Learn more about creative funding sources designed to fuel science now at SfN’s Public Advocacy Forum: Implications for Science Funding in an Era of Global Brain Initiatives on November 18 at Neuroscience 2014.
Aug.18, 2014 | ExecutiveGov
The Congressional Budget Office released its biannual sequestration report predicting agencies are unlikely to face additional cuts to any funds remaining in this fiscal year’s budget.
- Learn about the federal budget process and how appropriated funds impact your science in SfN’s webinar From Congress to Your Lab: How Federal Funding Affects Your Science.
Aug. 21, 2014 | Time
Reza Faraji-Dana, Iran’s science and research minister, was impeached by the Iranian parliament despite months of attempts to prevent it. Faraji-Dana’s removal is a major setback to the implementation Iranian President Rouhani’s campaign promises of a more tolerant policy in Iran’s universities. The universities have traditionally been a center for political activism, one many in Iranian society look to for guidance during elections and other major political events. A replacement must be nominated within three months.
- SfN offers membership at a reduced cost for certain countries, including Iran. See the developing countries membership page for rates and details.
Articles of Interest
Aug. 14, 2014 | SDNews.com
Salk Research Institute Professor Stephen Heinemann passed away on August 8 at the age of 75. Heinemann, whose research focused on communication between neurons, was a highly-regarded scientist and member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and was a former president of the Society for Neuroscience.
Aug. 17, 2014 | AP
New research from Stanford University published in Nature Neuroscience suggests that stronger hippocampal connections underlie the switch to automaticity that drives better math achievement in children.
- Watch a video on brain trauma and find other educational resources on the Educational Resources in Neuroscience (ERIN) Web portal.
Aug. 18, 2014 | Chicago Tribune
Abbott Laboratories and the US Defense Department have announced a “multi-year collaboration to develop portable blood tests to help evaluate concussions and other head injuries.” The tests will identify biomarkers in the blood that are elevated after brain injury.
- Find more information about the society impact of neuroscience research at BrainFacts.org/policymakers.
Aug. 15, 2014 | The Guardian
Traditionally, science breeds accountability, primarily through internal systems of peer review. But the recent retraction of two papers on stem-cell research by the journal Nature highlights weaknesses in this self-regulatory framework that scientists need to address.
- The Journal of Neuroscience is a member of the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium, an alliance of neuroscience journals that have agreed to share manuscript reviews at the author's request. Its goals are to support efficient and thorough peer review of original research in neuroscience, speed the publication of research reports, and reduce the burden on peer reviewers.
Aug. 19, 2014 | Huffington Post
In a blog post, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education reflects on recent attention given to concerns about “poorly applied statistical methods in published research results.” Although it is a given that scientific results should be reproducible, she claims the problem “is not as dire as some headlines suggest.”
- Read about Fred Kavli’s views on the importance of the globalization of science to reproducing scientific results on BrainFacts.org. An interview with Fred Kavli, founder and chairman of the Kavli Foundation and Lord Sainsbury, Gatsby Charitable Foundation Settlor is featured.
Aug. 19, 2014 | The News & Observer
The ice bucket challenge, the latest trend to raise money for ALS, has gone viral. Over the past five years, the NIH has devoted over $225 million to ALS research, which is far more than private groups could ever support. Unfortunately, the marked decrease in NIH support has had a corrosive effect on the number of individuals pursuing scientific careers to help find cures for diseases such as ALS. The author here says, do the challenge but also contact your members of Congress and ask them to bring back bipartisan support for increased NIH funding.