This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
What to Expect in 2018: Science in the New Year
January 2, 2018 | Nature
This article provides an overview of scientific topics expected to be important in 2018. Some of the topics discussed include open access to scientific publications, U.S. midterm elections, continued Brexit negotiations, and disease treatments using gene editing tools.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
As Vets Demand Cannabis for PTSD, Science Races to Unlock Its Secrets
January 4, 2018 | Scientific American
Military veterans and others with PTSD have advocated for medicinal cannabis legalization and research into its therapeutic effects. Gaining traction in state legislatures, New York and several other states have added PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Although aware of the urgency of PTSD treatments, some cannabis researchers warn of legalization without adequate understanding of its pharmacological properties.
Read more about cannabinoid therapeutics for PTSD at BrainFacts
The NIH is in Danger of Losing its Edge in Creating Biomedical Innovations
January 3, 2018 | STAT
In this op-ed, the authors argue that declining levels of federal funding for biomedical research, poor allocation of NIH funds are causing America to lose its status as a world leader in biomedical research by jeopardizing innovation. In order combat these threats, the authors suggest solutions, such as predictable, long-term funding for NIH, revitalizing NIH’s intramural program, and increasing data sharing by public and private institutions.
Learn about US Advocacy Programs at SfN.org
Novelty in Science- Real Necessity or Distracting Obsession?
January 3, 2018 | The Conversation
This op-ed argues that incentivizing reproducibility would improve the balance between scientific papers’ robustness and their novelty. Publications and funding agencies reward novel studies because of their potential to contribute to scientific progress but prioritizing novelty may contribute to the current reproducibility crisis.
Find scientific rigor and reproducibility resources at Neuronline
Articles of Interest
Huge Study of Teen Brains Could Reveal Roots of Mental Illness, Impacts of Drug Abuse
January 3, 2018 | Science
A NIH funded multicenter study aims to image 10,000 adolescent brains over a decade to assess the influence of environmental variables, substance usage, and other factors in normal cognitive maturation and the development of psychoses.
- Learn more about the adolescent brain at BrainFacts
Breakthrough Brings Non-Addictive Opioid Alternatives a Step Closer
January 4, 2018 | The Guardian
Recent research studied how the kappa opioid receptor interacts with opioids in the brain, allowing researchers to produce a drug that selectively interacts with the receptor. Unlike other opioid receptors, kappa opioid receptor binding relieves pain without addiction, making it a target for substitutive painkillers.
- Read about the US opioid crisis at BrainFacts
Dementia Patients Often Need Hospitals, Which are Often Ill-Prepared
January 2, 2018 | Boston Globe
Individuals with dementia frequent hospitals, yet hospitals are often unaccommodating and patients lose pre-admission abilities during their care. Implementing protocols for identifying dementia, training hospital staff, and modifying hospital environments are critical steps to care for dementia patients.
- Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at BrainFacts