Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
House Panel Clears Final Spending Bill
July 14, 2016 | The Hill
The House Appropriations Committee reviewed and passed its Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill, funding NIH at $33.3 billion, a $1.25 billion increase over FY2016. The House Appropriations committee passed all twelve of the federal spending bills before recessing for August, but the entire House has passed very few, leading to a lot of activity or negotiations around a continuing resolution to resume quickly starting in September.
- Read SfN’s statement about the bill at SfN.org.
UK Government Enlists Industry Leaders To Chart Post-Brexit Course for Life Sciences
July 7, 2016 | Science
UK Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman has convened a joint government-industry steering group to lay our key priorities for life sciences in the UK after the country voted to exit the European Union. Many scientists in the UK remain concerned about the nation’s ability to recruit scientists and that they may be cut off from EU research funding opportunities.
- Learn more about neuroscience funding in the UK at SfN.org.
Senate Pushes Cures Bill to September
July 11, 2016 | Washington Examiner
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) says that the Senate will continue work on the 21st Century Cures bill package when Congress returns in September. After the House passed its version of the 21st Century Cures bill in July 2015, the Senate has continued to work on their version, but did not reach an agreement before the summer congressional recess.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed on issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org.
Scientists Win Peer Rebellion, Face-to-Face Review is Restored
July 13, 2016 | CBC News
After proposing changes to the peer review system that would result in online peer review of grant application, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research agreed to restore the face-to-face system of peer review. Scientists met to draft a plan to restore the face-to-face peer review committees while incorporating some aspects of the new online review process.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
New Study Calls the Reliability of Brain Scan Research Into Question
July 7, 2016 | Smithsonian Magazine
A recent study raised concerns about the reliability of fMRI studies after it showed a 70 percent chance of a false positive while using fMRI to scan people’s brains at rest. Of note, a software bug in one of the statistical software programs used to analyze the data seems to have been partly to blame for some of the false findings.
- Watch webinars on scientific rigor and reproducibility at Neuronline.
Does the Immune System Have a Role in Battling Autism?
July 14, 2016 | Scientific American
Immune system cells that help fight infection may also be needed for mice to socialize with their peers. This study supports other findings that link the immune system and conditions such as autism, and suggest that immune system has a large impact on brain function.
- Learn more about autism on BrainFacts.org.
Obama’s Top Scientist Talks Shrinking Budgets, Donald Trump, and His Biggest Regret
July 6, 2016 | Nature
John Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, reflects on his time in the White House. He discusses public views of science, the future of science funding, and other topics relating to science and technology in the U.S.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org.
Perspective: Equality Need Not be Painful
July 14, 2016 | Nature
As of 2014, NIH has required the “consideration of sex as a biological variable” in preclinical research, but many experiments continue to only use male animals. Pain researcher Jeremy Mogil discusses the importance of using both male and female subjects in pain studies.
- Read about neuroscience funding through NIH at SfN.org.