Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
September 28, 2016 | The Hill
Congress passed a continuing resolution on September 28th that will keep the government funded through December 9th. It includes a 0.5 percent cut across the board as well as $1.1 billion for Zika virus response efforts and $500 million for flood relief in Louisiana, West Virginia, and Maryland. Funding for the Flint lead contamination crisis has been added to a separate bill to be passed after the election.
- Contact your legislator today to tell them how devastating a CR is for biomedical research funding.
September 28, 2016 | Scientific American
The retirement of three U.S. senators, particularly Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) may have a profound impact on the future of science policy and funding. Senator Mikulski is the vice chair of the Appropriations Committee, and has been a vocal advocate for science and healthcare funding. While these senators’ successors may also be science policy advocates, they will not have the same seniority and influence as their predecessors.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
September 28, 2016 | Nature
With the recent lifting of the travel ban between Cuba and the U.S., Cuban scientists may soon find it easier to travel to international meetings and create new collaborations. These scientists, whose funding and research have been heavily controlled by the government, have had to be creative to get around the U.S. embargo and get the equipment and materials they need. Researchers in the U.S. are already starting to test vaccines and other medicines developed in Cuba, hoping to bring them to the US market.
- Read about global advocacy programs at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
September 21 | Science
Cori Bargmann discusses her new role leading the basic science wing of the Chan Zuckerberg Institute, which will devote $3 billion over the next decade towards the goal of preventing, curing, or managing all disease. She emphasizes the plan to bring together scientists, physician scientists, and engineers to develop new medical technology, and how her work with the Basic BRAIN Initiative will help her to coordinate these collaborations.
- Learn more about diseases and disorders of the brain at BrainFacts.org.
September 26, 2016 | Scientific American
Many athletes who suffer repeated concussions find that the headaches, confusion, and other symptoms that accompany the head injury refuse to subside for months, called post-concussion syndrome. A research group found that the severity of post-concussion syndrome was linked to elevated levels of several proteins that have been found in the brains of athletes who suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The group hopes to develop a blood test for these markers that may help determine athletes at risk for developing CTE later in life.
- Read articles about concussions and the injured brain on BrainFacts.org.
September 22, 2016 | The Hill
Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS, and Mary Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, write about the Golden Goose Award, which recognizes scientific studies that seemed strange or funny at the time they were conducted but had an enormous impact upon society. They draw attention to the fact that while science may sound obscure or odd, it can lead to extraordinary good for the American people, and should inspire politicians to fight for more funding, not less.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org.
September 23, 2016 | Chicago Tribune
In response to the recent NIH workshop on research in nonhuman primates, this commentary emphasizes the research done to develop lifesaving vaccines and medical treatments in nonhuman primates. In particular, it notes that while computer models of the human brain take over a half hour to replicate what the brain can do in one second, the brains of nonhuman primates are similar enough to allow researchers to develop effective treatments for Parkinson’s disease among other brain disorders.
- Find animal research resources at SfN.org
September 27, 2016 | Nature
As more and more researchers leave academia for other careers, the academic world must adjust by viewing them not as “failures,” but as an important resource for science and society. Normalizing careers outside academia will ease the anxieties of young researchers and show them that there is more than one way to be successful after graduate school.
- Find career resources at SfN.org
September 28, 2016 | Science
For young scientists who want pursue an academic career, this piece urges them to get experience outside of research in the lab to prepare for the life of a professor. These experiences include everything from learning how to write and budget for a grant, to mentoring other students, to teaching and serving on committees. By developing these skills, young scientists will be better able to make the transition from the bench to the PI’s desk.
- Find training resources at SfN.org