Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
June 7, 2016 | The Hill
On Thursday, the Senate Committee of Appropriations overwhelmingly approved the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2017. It includes a $2 billion increase for NIH that adds $400 million for research on Alzheimer's disease as well as increases for the Precision Medicine Initiative and the BRAIN Initiative. It also puts money toward prescription drug monitoring programs and expanded access to treatment of opioid misuse.
- Learn about the public funding of neuroscience at SfN.org.
June 1, 2016 | Nature
South Korea’s government hopes it can innovate its way out of a looming economic crisis — and win a Nobel Prize in the process. The country aims to increase its investment in basic research to 5% of GDP by 2017, and last month, President Park Geun-hye's government announced that it would boost annual basic-science funding levels by 36% by 2018, to 1.5 trillion won. Research projects in the works include an experiment attempting to detect a particle called the axion, a possible component of dark matter, and a huge new brain mapping project.
- Find out about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
June 1, 2016 | EurekAlert!
A group of prominent leaders in the neuroscience community have called for expanding the scope of neuroscience education beyond what is taught in traditional graduate programs the field continues to boom and nations around the world make neuroscience a research priority. In order to meet the challenges of this new era in brain science, the authors argue that current neuroscience programs could be revised to ensure students receive integrative transdisciplinary training for careers in- and outside of academia.
- Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
June 2, 2016 | The Atlantic
Neuroscientists studied a microchip, the kid behind arcade games like Donkey Kong, to see if modern neuroscientific methods could be used to re-discover what is already known about these simple man-made processors. The surprising answer indicated that that the way current neuroscience results are interpreted may be misleading and should be re-examined.
- Learn about how neuroscience may inform the next generation of computer chips BrainFacts.org.
May 20, 2016 | Science
Preprint servers facilitate the direct and open delivery of new knowledge and concepts to the worldwide scientific community before traditional validation through peer review. Although the preprint server arXiv.org has been essential for physics, mathematics, and computer sciences for over two decades, preprints are currently used minimally in biology, although that might now be poised to change.
- Learn more about the review process at eNeuro, SfN’s open access journal.
June 1, 2016 | The Conversation
Scientists have the expertise to publicly correct misinterpretations of their and others' data in the press. By developing new ways to disseminate science knowledge, they can help prevent inaccurate and overhyped stories from gaining traction. A group of young scientists from four diverse fields (psychology, chemistry, physics and neuroscience), argue that scientists bear a responsibility to reform the way their work is ultimately communicated.
- Watch webinars about scientific rigor and data reproducibility on Neuronline.
June 6, 2016 | The Guardian
Senator Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) new report, ‘Twenty Questions: Government Studies That Will Leave You Scratching Your Head’ picks apart twenty U.S. government-funded studies, claiming to reveal a culture of waste among scientists and within NIH, FDA, and DARPA. The question of how tax dollars are spent on research is a legitimate one, but Flake’s intent seems to be to drive press headlines rather than deliver serious criticism of science policy.
- Learn about the congressional committees that fund scientific research at SfN.org.
June 1, 2016 | Nature
Why would a nation that cannot feed all its people try to send a spacecraft to Mars? Scientific research in poorer nations is expected to focus on applied problems. Surrounded by poor prospects and infrastructure, institutions in these countries support fast-producing research that can provide direct results to the economy. But we should not forget that there is more to life than accumulating resources. Many other factors threaten human existence — from mutating viruses to moving tectonic plates – that are worth study by the developing world.
- Find global sources of research funding at SfN.org.