This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
GOP Senator Slams Proposed NIH Cuts: 'No One Should Have to Defend' Them
June 22, 2017 | The Hill
Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Senate Health Appropriations Subcommittee, criticized the administrations proposed NIH budget cuts, calling them “a cut to life-saving treatments and cures.” In May, a bipartisan deal was reached to increase NIH’s budget by $2 billion for FY17, bringing their total budget to $34.1 billion.
- Contact your representatives and ask them to support NIH and NSF in FY2018 SfN.org
US Court Grants Elsevier Millions in Damages from Sci-Hub
June 22, 2017 | Nature
Elsevier, one of the world’s largest scientific publishers, won a judgement against Sci-Hub, which provides access to millions of research papers and books. Elsevier claimed that the actions of Sci-Hub would cause injury to Elsevier, its customers, and the public. Others have pointed out that while the actions of Sci-Hub are illegal, the popularity of the site displays frustration with the status quo in academic publishing.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
Strengthened US Sanctions on Cuba Disappoint Scientists
June 19, 2017 | Nature
The administration’s decision to strengthen travel and trade restrictions with Cuba is a blow to Cuban scientists who had hoped that Obama’s 2014 push to relax restrictions would make it easier for researchers to travel and collaborate with U.S. colleagues. Since the relaxation on restrictions, scientists in both Cuba and the U.S. have been able to build collaborations, and this new decision is leaving many unsure how to proceed.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
Indian Research Labs Face Financial Crisis
June 16, 2017 | Science
The increase in expenditures is leaving little money for new research in the budget of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), which oversees India’s 38 premier scientific labs. CSIR Director General Girish Sahni believes the government needs to do more to support research and hopes that by selling research results on track for commercialization, the council will be able to make ends meet.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org
Congress Says Your Work is Wasteful. Now What?
June 19, 2017 | Science
This piece looks at the “Wastebook”, a report annually released by offices of U.S. senators since 2010 which highlights federally funded projects they consider wasteful. Scientists who have been featured in the Wastebook discuss ways they can prevent this negative classification in the future, such as being more careful when describing their work and opening the lines of communication so misinterpretation of value is less likely.
- Learn about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org
Don't Let Europe's Open-Science Dream Drift
June 20, 2017 | Nature
The author discuss the European Commission’sambitious plans, including the goal of creating a virtual repository that would provide European researchers access to the collective data from all publically funded research. The author challenges the commission not to let the scope of work involved in achieving these plans lead to a stalemate in progress.
- Read more about scientific rigor, big data, and interdisciplinary training at Neuronline
Articles of Interest
When it Comes to Preventing Dementia, Not Much is Proved to Work, Says Expert Committee
June 22, 2017 | STAT
A committee assembled by the National Academies of Sciences found that no interventions for dementia prevention are supported by “high strength evidence”. The three prevention techniques focuses upon in the report - cognitive training, blood pressure control, and physical activity - are broken down in this piece, followed by a call for more discovery for effective prevention strategies.
- Find more information about dementia at BrainFacts.org
China Cracks Down on Fake Peer Reviews
June 20, 2017 | Nature
A coalition of Chinese agencies, led by the science ministry, announced that the government would suspend grants awarded to researchers who are found to be involved in the creation of fraudulent reviews of scientific papers. The decision to suspend grants of scientists involved in fraudulent reviews was in response to a large scale retraction of papers that had been found to be fabricated.
- Watch SfN’s NIH funded series on scientific rigor and reproducibility on Neuronline
Joshua Gordon Wants to Remake Mental Health Care, On a Budget
June 16, 2017 | Undark
This piece examines NIMH director Dr. Joshua Gordon, his background, and his plans for NIMH going forward. Gordon plans to continue NIMH’s emphasis on basic research on brain biology, specifically continuing the work on the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), launched several years ago by the previous NIMH director.
- Learn more about brain basics and mental illness at BrainFacts.org
Great Paper? Swipe Right on the New 'Tinder for Preprints' App
June 15, 2017 | Science
Papr, an app described as “Tinder for preprints”, allows users to see abstracts of preprints and rate them in four categories, with preprints coming from the preprint server bioRxiv. Scientists are already using social media to discover new papers and the apps creators say that the goal of the app is to help researchers navigate the large number of new papers and uncover interdisciplinary overlaps.
- Read more about publishing a paper at Neuronline