Sept. 19, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels; CR Passes
Sept. 17, 2014 | Roll Call Blog
On September 17, the House passed a FY2015 Continuing Resolution (CR), to fund the federal government until December 11, preventing a shutdown until at least that date. The bill sets the discretionary funding level for the federal government during CR period at an annual rate of $1.012 trillion and includes money to equip Syrian rebels for the intended purpose of fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, aka ISIS).
Senate Approves Obama's Syria Plan in Funding Bill
Sept. 18, 2014 | USA Today
The day after the House passed its version of the CR, the Senate approved the bill. Assuming it is signed by the president, the expiration date forces lawmakers back to the table after the midterm elections to pass another bill funding the government. The form that bill takes—another short term CR, or longer term omnibus—will largely depend on the makeup of the Senate after the election.
- When Congress returns after the election, it will be very important to speak up for biomedical research. Join SfN’s Advocacy Network to get the latest news and information about things you can do to advocate for science.
Too Few University Jobs for America's Young Scientists
Sept. 16, 2014 | NPR
Young scientists are vital contributors to the nation’s science knowledge, but when they are finished with training, there may not be a place for them in academia. The author describes the plight of these new scientists in the face of falling success rates for grants and lack of certainty in the funding environment.
- Even in tough times, SfN can help. Check out the NeuroJobs Career Center to learn more.
Scottish Independence: Scotland to Stay in UK
Sept. 19, 2014 | Wall Street Journal
In a historic vote, 55 percent of Scottish citizens voted against Scotland becoming an independent country, instead opting to stay part of the United Kingdom. Though less will change than would have, the vote prompted London to pledge more power over tax and spending to Scotland's semi-autonomous parliament in Edinburgh. The vote was open to all eligible Scottish citizens over the age of 16 and voter turnout was impressive with 75-90 percent of the eligible speaking up.
- To read articles on how science entered into the debate over independence, see our previous news consolidation.
Articles of Interest
If You Give a Mouse a Human Speech Gene, It Learns Faster
Sept. 15, 2014 | Popular Mechanics
Researchers at MIT gave mice the human version of FOXP2, the so-called “language gene” of humans, and found that the animals displayed faster declarative and procedural learning. This study sheds light on the factors that may have led to the development of speech and language in humans.
- Read more about FOXP2 on BrainFacts.org.
How Your Brain Actually Makes Decisions While You Sleep
Sept. 17, 2014 | The Washington Post
New research published in Current Biology shows that humans are able to process complex stimuli and prepare to make decisions while asleep. This research extends our understanding of the types of processing the brain is able to achieve during sleep.
- Access an interactive activity on the connection between sleep and memory at BrainFacts.org.
Prominent U.S. Academics Reprise Plea for More Basic Research to Fuel Innovation
Sept. 16, 2014 | Science
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences recently released a report, Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream, calling for increased investment in basic research, rising from the current level of 0.19 percent to 0.3 percent of GDP by 2032.
- You can make the case for investment in scientific research using SfN resources.
Seven Reasons Congress Must Reauthorize America COMPETES
Sept. 12, 2014 | Huffington Post
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, makes a case for passing the COMPETES Act, which authorizes several federal agencies, including NSF.