Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
White House Goes With Its Gut, Backs New Microbiome Project
May 13, 2016 | NBC News
President Obama has announced a new National Microbiome Initiative, pledging millions of dollars to train new scientists, pay for new research and offering prizes for the best new ideas on how to understand how bacteria, viruses, yeast and fungi function and how they can be put to work for humanity. The White House says it will propose more than $121 million in federal spending over the next two years at several agencies, including NIH and NSF, as well as private funding for the initiative.
- See more science funding advocacy tools at SfN.org.
U.S. Research Groups Going to War Again Over Small Business Funding
May 18, 2016 | Science Insider
The U.S. research community and small business advocates are at odds over pending legislation that would expand a federal program, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, that promotes commercialization of academic research. While both sides agree that more academic research needs to be commercialized, the research community fears that growing the SBIR program will come at the expense of fundamental science funding.
- Learn about the public funding of neuroscience at SfN.org.
‘Brexit’ Would Hit U.K. Research Hard, Report Says
May 17, 2016 | Science Insider
A new study says that leaving the European Union (E.U.) would lead to a “steep drop” in research funding for scientists in the U.K., and also states that the U.K. is more dependent on E.U. funding that some other European countries. The U.K. will vote on whether to leave the European Union in a referendum next month.
- Read about global advocacy programs at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
Peer Review: Close Inspection
May 11, 2016 | Nature
This article provides a closer look at peer review, the backbone of modern scientific publishing. The process allows peer reviewers to read about research before it is generally known and to gain insight into how other scientists write manuscripts and present data. Learn more about being a successful peer reviewer here.
- Learn more about the review process at eNeuro, SfN’s open access journal.
Dog Genes Give Insight into Human Brain Tumors
May 13, 2016 | Medical News Today
Gliomas are a particularly aggressive form of brain tumor, developing quickly and rarely curable. These tumors are the most common form of malignant brain tumor in humans and the second most common in dogs. The tumor's cellular makeup in dogs is strikingly similar to that found in humans and occurs at a similar rate in both species. A research team at Uppsala University in Sweden delved into the genetics of these breeds in an attempt to single out genes that might be responsible for certain breeds' susceptibility to gliomas.
- Read more about brain tumors at BrainFacts.org.
What Do Scientists Want From the 2016 Australian Federal Election?
May 16, 2016 | SBS.com
As politicians are campaigning for the 2016 Australian election, the scientific community is worried in the wake of funding cuts and policy uncertainty. Science contributes about $330 billion to Australia’s economy annually, however, the current funding situation has left many researchers in limbo as the current Turnbull government has only restored a third of the $3 billion cut by the prior government.
- Find out about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
Fair Pay for Postdocs: Why We Support New Federal Overtime Rules
May 17, 2016 | The Huffington Post
NIH Director Francis Collins and U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez recently announced revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act that make over 4 million U.S. workers who are currently exempt from overtime pay, including many postdocs, eligible for overtime pay unless their salaries are raised. Collins and Perez voice their support for this change in policy, including that the stipend for NIH postdoctoral NRSA awards will be increased.
- Watch advocacy webinars on about how to communicate your science at SfN.org.
Dr. Dettmer Goes to Washington, Part 3
May 18, 2016 | Speaking of Research
Amanda Dettmer is a primate neuroscientist who examines stress sensitivity and its effect on early life and resilience in life-long health using macaque models of human development. As one of the 2016 Early Career Policy Ambassadors, she is blogging about her experiences with science advocacy. Read her third post in which she interviews the her legislator, Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) to learn about what pro-scientific policies he has supported and what lawmakers need from scientists in order to help boost research funding
- Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org.