This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
June 28, 2017 | Nature
The House Commerce, Science, and Justice Committee will vote on a FY18 spending bill that includes a NSF budget proposal of $7.3 billion, $685 million above the administrations FY18 request. The budget proposal for NSF would also eliminate funding for three mid-size research vessels and apply those extra funds to NSF’s research programs.
- Contact your representatives and tell them to reject research cuts and raise sequestration caps
June 26, 2017 | Nature
The US Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate a limited version of the administrations travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries is causing uncertainty for students and scientists who hope to study or work in the US. The Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the ban in October but researchers worry that uncertainty over immigration may have already driven away international talent from the US.
- Read SfN’s statement on the Immigration Order at SfN.org
June 28, 2017 | Science
According a recently released report, Canada’s scientific enterprise is at risk of decline as a result of funding cuts and misguided government and grant policies. The authors of the study also note that the steady shift away from basic science has left fewer researchers in the scientific community focused on fundamental research.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
June 27, 2017 | Science
One of Russia’s parliamentary chambers passed the first draft of a new law that would tighten the government’s control over the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The bill introduced three major changes: all RAS presidential candidates must be approved by the government, a candidate can be elected by winning more than 50% of the vote instead of the current 2/3 threshold, and the newly elected president must be approved by the Russian President.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
June 27, 2017 | Nature
James Martin, chemistry professor at North Carolina State University and Wake County Board of Education member, discusses his experience as a scientist and an elected official, the relationship between science and politics, and provides advice for scientists interested in becoming more politically active. Martin also states his belief that an increase in politically active scientists would benefit science and society.
- Learn about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org
June 28, 2017 | Scientific American
Rohit Shukla, CEO of the Larta Institute, argues that the administration’s proposed cuts to science agencies would negatively affect promising small business and startups. Shukla highlights the relationship between private industry and federal research, and calls for continued investment in scientific innovations.
- Read SfN’s statement regarding the President’s budget proposal at SfN.org
June 26, 2017 | STAT
G. William Rebeck, neuroscience professor at Georgetown University, discusses the NIH’s decision to scrap the Grant Support Index (GSI) plan and instead create the Next Generation Researchers Initiative. Rebeck argues that the Initiative will not address the current funding disadvantage early career scientists face and that the originally proposed GSI would have done more to help train the next generation of researchers.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
June 27, 2017 | Science
Researchers have found that an intestinal protein connected to Parkinson’s, a-synuclein, may actually defend the intestines when in its normal form. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, the protein is known to accumulate in toxic clumps in the brain and nerves of the gut wall, but until now, researchers were unaware of the protein’s purpose in healthy individuals.
- Find more information about Parkinson’s at BrainFacts.org
June 27, 2017 | Mashable
This article looks at research focused on the neuroscience of motivation, specifically what causes individuals to be successful. The piece also discusses keys to motivation and how to use science to increase employee motivation.
- Learn more about the multi-tasking mind at BrainFacts.org