Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
October 28, 2016 | The Hill
Two research groups, Research!America and United for Medical Research, are calling on Congress to pass the 21st Century Cures Act during the lame duck session after a coalition of liberal groups asked for it to be delayed to the new Congress. Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to include drug pricing measures in the bill, which the research groups are concerned will lead to further delays.
- Contact your legislator today to tell them how devastating a CR is for biomedical research funding.
November 01, 2016 | Nature
This article shines a spotlight on down ballot races and state propositions that could have a hand in shaping science policy in the coming year. Of note, Maryland and California are losing key senators who were champions of science funding with senior positions on science related committees, while a Montana ballot measure would establish a biomedical research authority to fund researchers in the state who are studying brain disorders and mental illness.
- Read about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org.
October 27, 2016 | Fox News Latino
Argentinean scientists and students held a protest of an announced 32 percent reduction for the Science and Technology Ministry in President Mauricio Macri’s proposed 2017 budget. This would lead to the lowest funding for the ministry since it was created in 2008; scientists are particularly angry because President Macri had promised to double the science and technology budget during his campaign last year.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
October 27, 2016 | The New York Times
A pebble found by an amateur fossil hunter in England in 2004 has been found to contain the first-ever traces of dinosaur brain tissue. The fossil is believed to have been from a large herbivore similar to an Iguanodon and contained preserved blood vessels as well as tissue from the cortex and protective meninges.
- Learn more about dinosaur brains at BrainFacts.org.
October 26, 2016 | Scientific American
Autistic children whose parents underwent a yearlong training course in communicating and interacting with their kids are more likely to have improved social skills and fewer severe symptoms, even four years after the training was completed. The therapy was designed such that parents would view and discuss their interactions with their children to improve their engagement with them.
- Read more about the autistic spectrum at BrainFacts.org.
November 01, 2016 | Discover Magazine
Mice are the most popular animal model in biomedical research, but the treatments that work in them don’t always work in humans (and vice versa). This piece explores some of the ways researchers are making mice more effective models, including exposing them to environments similar to those of humans, gaining better understanding murine biology, and using CRISPR and other genetic tools to replicate human diseases in rodents.
- Learn more about how animals help research at BrainFacts.org.
October 26, 2016 | Nature
The extreme competition and steep learning curve that early career academics face are forcing them to think conservatively and not explore big ideas that won’t lead to immediate publications and funding. The authors suggest providing institutional support to young faculty to help them with the transition from researcher to PI as well as considering mechanisms that will ease the pressure to publish quickly and often in order to receive tenure.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org.
October 31, 2016 | El País
Scientist Javier Sampedro argues that the two major Spanish airlines, Iberia and Air Europa, make a poor argument for not carrying research animals in cargo planes to labs on the Canary Islands for fear that the rodents will escape and damage the planes by chewing on wires. He claims that the airlines have instituted these policies due to pressure from animal rights groups, and are depriving scientists of animals needed for their research into treatments for diseases like ALS and Parkinson’s disease.
- Find animals in research resources at SfN.org.
October 26, 2016 | Nature
This article talks to three successful early career scientists about the challenges that they have faced and the realities of being a young researcher In particular, they have struggled with securing funding for their work, while also publishing high impact papers, teaching, learning how to run a lab, and supporting their families and partners.
- Find career tools and resources at SfN.org.