This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
August 17, 2017 | Science
NSF recently posted a notice reminding universities about their responsible conduct of research (RCR) training requirements enacted by the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act. This notice was posted following a survey conducted by NSF’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) which found that 23 percent of schools with NSF research funds had no RCR training plan in place when first contacted and none of the institutions surveyed had followed NSF’s advice to do a risk assessment.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
August 23, 2017 | Nature
Daniel Kammen, an energy researcher at the UC Berkeley, resigned his post as a science envoy for the US Department of State, citing President Trump’s attacks on core US values as reason for his departure. The science envoy was created by former President Obama in 2010 to boost outreach and partnerships with predominantly Muslim countries.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
August 23, 2017 | Science
According to an internal report, senior female faculty at the Salk Institute for Biological Science raised twice as much funding for scientists, but believed that Salk leaders were favoring male scientists by giving them greater access to internal funds and other resources. Implications from the report echo accusations that are part of current gender discrimination lawsuits filed last month against Salk.
- Learn about U.S. advocacy programs at SfN.org
August 21, 2017 | Science
Last month, representatives from contact heavy sports such as rugby, ice hockey, and football, met to discuss ways of treating and preventing head injuries. The author argues that while this gathering shows an acknowledgement of the dangers of head injuries associated with contact sports, science must continue to study the impacts of these injuries and encourage sports organizations not to ignore any findings.
- Watch a video about the effects of repeat concussions on BrainFacts.org
Articles of Interest
August 22, 2017 | Science
Engineers have created mini-antennas capable of being used in tiny brain implants, micro-medical devices, or phones that could be worn on a finger. A study testing one of these antennas found that it sent and received information more efficiently than a conventional ring antenna of the same size. One of the study’s authors is pursing practical applications for this technology and is also working with a neurosurgeon on creating brain implants for reading or controlling neural activity.
- Learn more information about brain-computer interface at BrainFacts.org
August 22, 2017 | Scientific American
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyzing DNA sequences of 78,308 people found 22 genes correlated with intelligence. Researchers pointed out that environment, not simply DNA, plays a large role in developing intelligence and that this research could help provide a foundation for examining how brain function could be manipulated to enhance intelligence.
- Read more about intelligence and information retention at BrainFacts.org
August 24, 2017 | NPR
A recent study identified specialized brain cells that keep track of changes in intonation to help us understand what a speaker really means. Researchers found these cells by monitoring activity in patient’s brains as they listened to a series of sentences spoken. Scientists believe that these findings show how important the processing of sound is to the brain.
- Find more information about hearing and the brain at BrainFacts.org