This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
Here's How Scientists Running for Office Are Doing
February 28, 2018 | The Atlantic
At least 17 candidates with STEM backgrounds won in November’s elections with around 60 STEM experts currently running for federal office and another 250 competing at the state level. In many cases, however, STEM candidates are also facing historically large candidate pools and needing to succeed in many activities including political fundraising they are not accustomed to doing.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about science policy issues at SfN.org
National Science Foundation to Close its Overseas Offices
February 25, 2018 | Science
NSF recently announced it would close overseas outposts in Beijing, Brussels, and Tokyo by the summer as part of NSF’s efforts to be more strategic in its international affairs. The decision to close these offices has resulted in mixed reactions from the scientific community, with some calling it strategic and others calling it shortsighted and shocking.
- Learn about neuroscience Funding Globally at SfN.org
Florida Residents Could Soon Get the Power to Alter Science Classes
February 23, 2018 | Science
Florida legislature’s education committee recently passed two bills that if enacted would allow members of the public to review school curriculum and suggest alternatives. Educators argue that the bills would allow activists opposing climate change, evolution, and other topics to promote their agenda and alter classroom materials.
- Read about US Advocacy Programs at SfN.org
Canadian Science Wins Billions in New Budget
February 28, 2018 | Science
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recently released budget includes almost Can$4 billion in new funding for science over the next five years. Funding will go to Canada’s three granting councils, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
- Learn about global advocacy programs at SfN.org
Federal Funding Vital to Search for Treatments for Brain Disorders
February 26, 2018 | The Hill
In this op-ed, Rick Huganir, SfN President and professor and director of the Solomon Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the John’s Hopkins School of Medicine, discusses the importance of federal funding for brain research. Huganir highlights how basic brain discoveries have assisted in helping to understand disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, and warns that now is not the time to halt the recent trend of funding increases to agencies like NIH and NSF.
- Read about US Funding Priorities at SfN.org
The Wrong Way to Approach Maryland's Opioid Overdose Epidemic
February 25, 2018 | The Baltimore Sun
The Maryland legislature is debating House Bill 771 that would require addicts revived three or more times with naloxone to seek treatment or reimburse public costs for naloxone. Baltimore’s Health Commissioner Leana Wen warns against withholding naloxone in this op-ed stating that the bill does not reflect the chronic nature of addiction as a disease and referencing the inadequate treatment resources available.
- Listen to a Congressional Neuroscience Caucus briefing about the opioid epidemic at BrainFacts.org
Articles of Interest
Pediatricians Call for Universal Depression Screening for Teens
February 26, 2018 | NPR
Only about 50% of depressed teens are diagnosed prior to adulthood, prompting pediatric experts to endorse yearly depression screenings of youth, ages 12 and up. The related guidelines also recommend that parents of depressed teens limit their access to ways to harm themselves or others.
- Read about the vulnerability of the teen brain at BrainFacts.org
Getting to the Root of the Problem: Stem Cells are Revealing New Secrets About Mental Illness
February 27, 2018 | Scientific American
Researchers recently compared induced pluripotent stem cells derived from mentally ill humans responsive and unresponsive to lithium treatment. The study determined that lithium restored the function of the protein CRMP2 in lithium responsive neurons, fueling investigations into lithium alternatives that modify CRMP2 function without side effects.
- Learn about precision treatments for psychiatric diseases at BrainFacts.org