Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
October 13, 2016 | Wired
Speaking at the White House Frontiers Conference, President Obama emphasized the need for the next president to respect and believe science regardless of how it fits into their ideology. Additionally, he called on Americans to respond to scientific challenges by acknowledging and overcoming them through research and development, as well as increased involvement of women and people of color in the STEM fields.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
October 14, 2016 | Science
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced new rules that allow for free collaboration between scientists in the U.S. and Cuba. These rules also make it easier for Cuban-made pharmaceuticals to undergo review by the FDA, and lift restrictions on Cuban scientists receiving U.S. research grants, scholarships, and awards.
- Learn more about Worldwide Neuroscience Initiatives at SfN.org.
October 17, 2016 | The New York Times
Scientists and technology companies are expressing serious concern over the resources available to them after the UK leaves the EU. EU grants account approximately 40 – 65 percent of funding for research disciplines in the UK, and some scientists and companies are considering moving elsewhere in Europe to retain access to these critical resources.
- Find information about Global Advocacy Programs at SfN.org.
October 18, 2016 | Science
The Brazilian government proposed a budget cap of all public spending for the next 20 years in the hopes of boosting the economy, but scientists are concerned that this cap will damage research and innovation. The current budget for science is the lowest in a decade, and researchers argue that if funding is maintained at that level, research institutes may not be able to survive.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
October 19, 2016 | Science
This article explores the changes in the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology under the leadership of Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Of particular note is the fact that since he became chair in 2013, Rep. Smith has issued 24 subpoenas to NSF and other groups, the first to be issued by the committee in nearly 20 years.
- Contact your legislator today to tell them how devastating a CR is for biomedical research funding.
October 14, 2016 | The Guardian
A new international collaboration called the Human Cell Atlas aims to decipher the properties and genetics of every cell in the human body. The knowledge gained by this endeavor will be invaluable for medicine and research, particularly for cell-based therapies such as growing new dopamine-producing neurons to replace the ones lost in Parkinson’s disease.
- Find out what makes neurons special at BrainFacts.org.
October 18, 2016 | Science
Researchers at UCSF have found that using lithium to treat animals with a genetic mutation linked to bipolar disorder and other psychiatric illnesses leads to regrowth of dendritic spines, the places where neurons receive input from other nerve cells. Treatment with lithium also improves behavioral symptoms associated with the mutation, suggesting that the changes in spine growth are related to the behaviors seen in these disorders.
- Learn about how neurons communicate at BrainFacts.org.
October 13, 2016 | The Washington Post
Roberto Lewis-Fernández, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, calls upon NIMH to balance long-term neuroscience research into treatments and biology of mental illness with research on how to best treat patients with current practices and reach struggling populations. He argues that while neuroscience research is important, it will primarily be helpful in the future; we also need research on how to give care and reach often forgotten populations to figure out how to treatments patients in the present.
- Read about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org.
October 19, 2016 | Nature
A group of neuroscientists has created BiasWatchNeuro to analyze the percentage of women invited to speak at conferences relative to the percentage in the field. By presenting the numbers and statistics, the group hopes to call attention to the unconscious biases in science and make female scientists more visible in the scientific community, and to serve as a model for other fields.
- Find resources for women in neuroscience at SfN.org.
October 18, 2016 | BBC
In this article, BBC explores both sides of the debate over using nonhuman primates in research. While animal rights groups argue that studies intended for use in humans should be done in humans, neuroscientists explain that the research they do in nonhuman primates cannot be done in humans or animals with brains and skills that are less similar to those in humans.
- Read frequently asked questions about the use of animals in research at SfN.org.