Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
House GOP Leaders to Members: We’ll be Blamed for Shutdown
September 17, 2015 | The Hill
GOP leaders appear to be leaning towards using budget reconciliation rules to bring a bill defunding Planned Parenthood to President Obama’s desk. If the proposed budget includes language defunding Planned Parenthood and is vetoed by Obama, leaders worry that the ensuing government shutdown will negatively affect GOP approval ratings.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay up to date on issues of science funding.
African Scientists Launch Research Hub in Nairobi
September 12, 2015 | The Star
African scientists have launched the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA), which will identify challenges to research in Africa as well as manage proposals and grants. The coalition has already received the equivalent of $5.5 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other groups involved in international development, and will be headed by Kenyan immunologist Tom Kariuki.
- See other global research initiatives at SfN.org.
Next Generation Researchers Act
September 15, 2015 | NBC15
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) are introducing the Next Generation Researchers Act to open up new funding opportunities within the NIH for young researchers. The act would additionally focus on mentoring new scientists and expanding diversity in research science.
- Learn more about the push for diversity in neuroscience at Neuronline.
Head of Mental Health Institute Leaving For Google Life Science
September 15, 2015 | New York Times
After 13 years of heading the National Institute of Mental Health, Thomas Insel announced this week that he’ll be leaving for the Google Life Sciences group at Alphabet. After leading the major funder of behavioral-health research, Insel will be turning toward new analytic technologies currently being developed at Google.
- Watch a video of the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series at Brainfacts.org.
Articles of Interest
The Neuroscience of Immortality: Mileposts on a Long and Uncharted Road
September 12, 2015 | The New York Times
High-tech efforts to map the brain's connections may soon lead to a day when "uploading" one's consciousness to a computer is no longer confined the realm of science fiction. Here is a look at how close, and far, we are to each requirement for keeping the brain alive after death.
- Watch a video about the network of synaptic connections called the "connectome" at Brainfacts.org
DARPA Taps Into the Brain To Give Patients Robot-Touch and Better Memory
September 14, 2015 | Popular Science
Using electrodes implanted in the brains of people with traumatic injuries, scientists have been able to restore the feeling of touch and to improve memories, according to researchers at DARPA.
- Read more about brain-controlled prosthetic devices on Brainfacts.org.
Why the Human Brain Project Went Wrong--and How To Fix It
September 16, 2015 | Scientific American (Subscription required)
Less than two years after the European Union awarded the Human Brain Project, headed by Israeli neuroscientist Henry Markram, over $1 billion, the HBP is in disarray and facing controversy. Do the problems of the HBP indicate limits on what Big Science can do on an international scale?
- Read more about global neuroscience projects at BrainFacts.org.
Stop America’s Economic Pain: Tell Congress to End Sequestration
September 11, 2015 | The Hill
Emily Holubowich, the co-chair of NDD United, discusses the importance of sequestration relief and how politicians on both sides of the aisle have voiced support for “raising the caps.”
- Visit the Sequestration Action Page to learn more about how budget cuts impact biomedical research funding at SfN.org.
New COMPETES Act Falls Short of US Scientific Potential
September 13, 2015 | The News Tribune
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) discusses how government sponsored research has long been a source of scientific innovation. However, the new version of the 2007 COMPETES Act falls short and would do little more than keep up with inflation and add bureaucracy to those seeking grant money.
- Read about the economic and scientific impact of NSF funding at SfN.org.
Science is Vital: Five Reasons To Be Angry About Science Funding
September 14, 2015 | The Guardian
In 2010, the Science is Vital campaign worked to prevent deep cuts to the United Kingdom’s research budget. Once again, science is on the chopping block in Britain and research advocates are arguing that investing in scientific research is vital to the economy.
- Find information about science funding in the UK at SfN.org.