This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
The GOP Tax Plan Would Blow a Hole in American Science
December 11, 2017 | Vox
US graduate students are currently exempt from paying taxes due to tuition waivers, but the House tax plan proposes a provision repealing this exemption. Graduate students and professional societies, including SfN, are expressing concerns and contacting Congress about the tax plan’s threat to higher education affordability.
- Contact Congress and tell them to protect institutional endowments and keep tuition waivers tax free for graduate students at SfN.org
Would You Advise Trump on Science? Survey Examines Attitudes of U.S. Researchers
December 13, 2017 | Science
A Science survey examined scientists’ reactions to the Trump administration and their attitudes toward engaging with government. The survey found that current anti-science rhetoric has made some scientists hesitant to become involved with the administration and motivated others to voice their dissent.
- Learn about leveraging public opinion in support of science on Neuronline
This Nobel Laureate is Worried U.S. Politics Could Endanger Scientific Research
December 11, 2017 | Time
Nobel laureate Michael Rosbash utilized his Nobel acceptance speech to voice concerns about the future of US science. Rosbash stated that current political developments threaten US pluralism and public support of science, ultimately endangering American science.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
Brexit Agreement Would Allow EU Scientists to Stay in UK
December 8, 2017 | Science
Months into Brexit negotiations, an agreement was announced that EU citizens can remain in the UK after Brexit in 2019. The agreement also allows UK scientists to apply for grants through Horizon 2020, a major EU research funding program.
- Find information about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
Tax "Reform" Could Harm Graduate Students, Delay Scientific Advancement
December 13, 2017 | Scientific American
In this op-ed, SfN member and former ECPA Ryan Makinson, argues that the House tax bill’s repeal of tuition waiver exemptions and student loan credits reduces graduate students livable income and threatens the future of the scientific workforce. The tax bill is also predicted to harm the competitiveness of US higher education as endowments will be taxed for some US institutions.
- Read more about graduate student training and issues on Neuronline
Federal budgeteers should ramp up funding for scientific research
December 14, 2017
This op-ed asserts that the US needs to spend three percent of its GDP on research to remain a global leader in science. Although private investment has mostly offset decreased federal R&D spending in recent decades, basic research has not been supported and continues to fall behind.
- Learn about Neuroscience Funding at SfN.org
Great Mentoring is Key for the Next Generation of Scientists
December 6, 2017 | Nature
This piece states that funders and institutions need to do more to encourage the mentorship of young scientists. It also highlights an award Nature’s provides to outstanding mentors who foster a culture of mentorship.
- Find advice about mentorship at Neuronline.SfN.org
Opinion: One Year Later- Why 21st Century Cures Still Matters
December 12, 2017 | Roll Call
Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Diana DeGette (D-CO), discussed the 21st Century Cures Act and its importance in this op-ed. Passed in the final days of 2016, Upton and DeGette note that 21st Century Cures is remembered and celebrated for its bipartisanship in boosting health initiatives. They also highlight that the impacts of 21st Century Cutes were praised in the Congressional testimonies of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and NIH Director Francis Collins.
- Read SfN’s statement on the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act at SfN.org
Articles of Interest
Scientists ‘Inject’ Information into Monkeys’ Brains
December 7, 2017 | The New York Times
Researchers found that monkeys could execute a learned movement without necessary sensory input when low amplitude microstimulation was applied to their premotor cortex. The bypassing of sensory processing achieved suggests that the brain can plan a movement by receiving information directly.
- Learn more about motor learning at BrainFacts.org
This Neuroscientist Wants Researchers to Study More Female Brains
December 8, 2017 | Vice
SfN member Aarthi Gobinath voices concerns over the poor representation of female subjects in neuroscience studies. Gobinath states that gender inequity in animal models results in outcomes that disproportionately benefit males more than females.
- Find additional information about improving experimental rigor and reproducibility on Neuronline
Excitement as trial shows Huntington’s drug could slow progress of disease
December 11, 2017 | The Guardian
Exciting phase 1 clinical trial findings indicate that Roche’s new drug Ionis-HTTRx slows the progression of Huntington’s disease by preventing production of the defective protein huntingtin. The drug is particularly promising because it could be used to target proteins responsible for other neurodegenerative diseases.
- Learn more about Huntington’s disease at BrainFacts.org