Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
October 13, 2016 | Morning Consult
The White House and NIH announced new funding for the BRAIN Initiative along with a new Precision Medicine initiative. NIH will be nearly doubling its contribution to the BRAIN Initiative, investing $70 million in new technologies and techniques to explore the brain.
- Learn more about the BRAIN Initiative at NIH.
October 7, 2016 | Science
In the hope of providing guidance to new and current postdocs in Europe, a new report from Science Europe lists more than 100 funding programs from across the continent. While they are all dedicated to developing the careers of funded postdocs, the report notes that the programs vary widely in how they address career development and the opportunities they provide.
- Read about global advocacy programs at SfN.org.
October 8, 2016 | Modern Healthcare
Congress is poised to pass legislation during the lame-duck session following the November election to improve mental health care in the U.S. The proposed legislation includes provisions to support programs to improve screening for suicide and other mental health issues, increase support for mental health professional training, and authorize grants for community and outpatient treatment groups.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
October 13, 2016 | The Washington Post
Researchers at University of Pittsburgh have created the first prosthetic arm that allows a paralyzed subject to feel when the hand is being touched. By implanting electrodes in the sensory cortex, Nathan Copeland is able to identify which fingers of the robotic arm is being touched, despite the fact that he is paralyzed in all four limbs.
- Learn how animal research helped make robotic prosthetics possible at BrainFacts.org
October 6, 2016 | Times Higher Education
Grant proposal success rates at UK research councils fell to 20 percent for 2016-2017, primarily due to an increase in the number of applications. In order to raise success rates, measures to be considered may include awarding grants by lottery, instituting a cap on applications based on university or individual, and stopping researchers from applying for a period of time following a poorly scored application.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org.
October 12, 2016 | Scientific American
In this interview, Grace Stutzmann of Rosalind Franklin University discusses her discovery of an overactive calcium channel that appears to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She also discusses the company she has started to create new early stage treatments for AD based on this discovery.
- Read more about Alzheimer’s disease at BrainFacts.org
October 10, 2016 | Nature
As migration of refugees to Europe increases, researchers are trying to understand why these populations are particularly vulnerable to developing psychiatric disorders and finding new ways to treat them. Of particular interest is studying recent migrant groups to find a link between how the brain processes social stress and the development of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, which is three times more likely to develop in refugee populations.
- Learn about stress and the brain at BrainFacts.org
September 29, 2016 | Times Higher Education
Saul Perlmutter, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011, said that he would not have been able to make his discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe in today’s funding climate. He emphasized that great discoveries happen on a long timescale and cannot be predicted, which is not often the best fit for the grant process at federal funding agencies.
- Contact your legislator today to tell them how devastating a CR is for biomedical research funding.
October 6, 2016 | The Seattle Times
Leaders of The Science Coalition, a group of 60 research universities, write that scientific research is key to many of the issues in this presidential election, from Medicare costs to national security. They point out polls showing that Americans believe scientific research should be a priority for the next president as support for including funding for research as a topic of discussion in the election.
- Read about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org
October 9, 2016 | Scientific American
Shawn Otto, cofounder of Sciencedebate.org, explores the various forces that have led to skepticism of science in government and society at large. Additionally, he suggests some ways to combat this disbelief, including the creation of science-civics classes in high schools and universities and supporting organizations that fight for scientific integrity and encourage public discussion of science-driven political issues.
- Visit ScienceDebate.org to learn more about their work on scientific integrity.