Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
May 10, 2016 | Stat News
The legislation would prohibit the federal government, including the FDA, from taking any action to prevent patient access to experimental treatments. The bill comes after 28 states have passed so-called “Right to Try” laws, allowing patients to leapfrog a drug-development process that takes years before new treatments become available. Currently, if terminally ill patients are not eligible for a clinical trial, they can apply for the medication via compassionate use. The agency actually approves the vast majority of these requests, but critics say the federal program is arbitrary and cumbersome.
- Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org
May 9, 2016 | New Zealand Herald
A prominent professor says New Zealand needs a commission for science as many scientists are being gagged. Professor Shaun Hendy, a recipient of the Prime Minister's Science Communication Prize, this week launches his book Silencing Science, in which he lays out concerns in the scientific community. Journalists were finding it harder to get comment from scientists, he said, and scientists in many cases were constrained by strict media policy or fear of jeopardizing funding.
- See more science funding advocacy tools at SfN.org.
May 12, 2016 | PBS Newshour
Top Senate negotiators announced agreement Thursday on a $1.1 billion emergency funding measure to battle the Zika virus, less than President Obama’s $1.9 billion request, which has upset some senior Democrats. While some Democrats say that they will continue to push for the larger amount, the current measure will come up for a floor vote next week. The administration requested emergency funding to battle Zika in February but Republicans controlling Congress have been slow to react, and instead forced the administration last month to tap more than $500 million worth of unspent Ebola funding to battle Zika.
- Read more about the potential effects of the Zika virus at BrainFacts.org.
May 12, 2016 | Nature
Brazil’s scientists, already struggling to absorb massive funding cuts, are protesting against another blow: the country’s science ministry has been demoted by interim president Michel Temer, who took over the government this week after a Senate impeachment vote ousted Dilma Rousseff from the presidency. The move, which Temer began hinting at a few days ago, has angered some Brazilian researchers.
- Learn about the public funding of neuroscience at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
May 10, 2016 | The National Science Foundation
In the 66 years since Truman's signature, NSF has grown into its mission to "high-quality research and education programs and to maintain its competitive position at the forefront of modern science, engineering, and technology" to a point where its research grants and scholarships reach nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions in all 50 states. There, they fund fundamental research and education in all fields of science and engineering.
- Learn more about NSF funding of neuroscience research at SfN.org.
May 11, 2016 | Science Daily
A new discovery could help people suffering with single-sided deafness (SSD). Symptoms of SSD include impaired hearing, difficulty filtering out background noise, and difficulty determining sound direction. Now, a group of scientists based at the University of California have been looking at brain plasticity in response to the development of SSD. Their recent discovery could pave the way to the development of SSD biomarkers, and potentially, a cure.
- Read more about treatments for deafness at BrainFacts.org.
May 9, 2016 |The Plymouth Herald
With the referendum for Britain to leave the European Union just over a month away, a local paper asks scientists if they believe that their careers and the scientific enterprise will be better staying in the E.U. or leaving.
- Find out about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
May 12, 2016 | The Conversation
Significant results in a scientific study don’t necessarily result in significant life improvements. Good experimental design allows researchers to control for confounding variables, such as those found in the real world, but the applications are often left for speculation. Why do the results in the carefully worded journal article often get wildly overstated to the general public?
- Watch advocacy webinars on about how to communicate your science at SfN.org.