This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
Special Series: Meet New Members of Congress with Connections to Research, and a Science Ally Who is Leaving
December 23, 2016 | Science
This series profiles three new members of the House of Representatives with ties to science and technology as well as interviewing outgoing member Mike Honda (D-CA) about his time in Congress. Those profiled are Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) who expanded the research capacity while working at Texas Tech University, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) who ran a start-up focused on commercializing university research, and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) who has an intimate understanding of the Silicon Valley tech community.
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How Does a U.S. President Settle On His Science Policy?
January 5, 2017 | Scientific American
In this explanation of how presidents set their agenda with regards to science policy, the author uses the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Obama as a case study. They particularly focus on the economic benefits of investing in science and technology, and how the incoming administration can use scientific advisors to accomplish their campaign promises.
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Argentina's Researchers Occupy Science Ministry
January 3, 2017 | Nature
After cuts to Argentina’s science budget that meant the loss of permanent positions for hundreds of young scientists, the affected researchers marched on the science ministry building, with 200 occupying the building for four days while more rallied outside the building. The government conceded to the protestors by offering extensions to those on temporary fellowship contracts that were set to end, but Argentinean scientists are still concerned about the lack of job opportunities and research funding.
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Brexit: KU Leuven Rector Pitches U.K.-Europe 'Associations'
January 5, 2017 | Times Higher Education
The Belgian university KU Leuven has indicated interest in setting up new multi-institution associations to help universities in the U.K. maintain their ties to EU collaborators and funding after Brexit takes effect. While some British universities are exploring establishing European campuses as a way of retaining access to the EU, these research associations may provide similar benefits and involve less risk for U.K. institutes.
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Why Researchers Should Resolve to Engage in 2017
January 4 2017 | Nature
This editorial suggests several paths that scientists can take to engage lawmakers and the public in support of scientific evidence. Among these paths are looking to the past to see what tactics were successful in similar situations as well as learning from groups of scientists that are already successful at communicating the importance of research and evidence based decision making.
- Find science advocacy tools at SfN.org
Political Investigation is Not the Way to Scientific Truth
January 4, 2017 | Scientific American
The authors argue that investigating the emails and other correspondence of researchers being investigated by lawmakers will not provide information on whether their results were wrong or right, and that the best way to determine if data manipulation took place is to experimentally replicate the finding. The authors use their replication of contested climate change data as an example of how much more efficient this method can be than congressional investigations.
- Get resources for engaging the media at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
What Sea Slugs Taught Us About Our Brain
January 5, 2017 | Nautilus
Some of the earliest and most fundamental discoveries on how the brain forms and encodes memories were made not in humans or even mice but in the sea slug Aplysia. This piece explores the contributions of Aplysia to early neuroscience as well as what they may illuminate about the brain in the future.
- Read more about Aplysia and memory at BrainFacts.org
The New Face of U.S. Science
January 3, 2017 | Nature
This analysis of biological and medical scientists with PhDs in the United States reveals some interesting trends in who and where biomedical research is being done. For example, four out of five scientists in the study work outside academia (primarily in the private sector) and more than half of researchers were born outside of the U.S.
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Scientists in Germany, Peru, and Taiwan to Lose Access to Elsevier Journals
December 23, 2016 | Nature
Researchers in Germany, Taiwan, and Peru will lose access to Elsevier journals in 2017 due to contract negotiation failures and lack of funding. Negotiations between Elsevier and a consortium of German research universities are still ongoing, but the rising cost of journal subscriptions and disagreements over making articles open access have led Taiwanese universities to boycott the publishing company and the Peruvian government to cut off the funds that previously paid for subscriptions.Read the latest issues of The Journal of Neuroscience and eNeuro