This Week in Science Policy and Advocacy
Policy and Advocacy News
March 29, 2018 | Science
NIH has completed re-evaluating applications believed to have been compromised by an individual involved in the proposal review process who violated confidentially rules late last year. NIH has also started taking disciplinary actions against researchers who broke these rules and officials hope that increased education and awareness will lead to a decrease in breaches.
- Join the Advocacy Network to stay informed about issues related to neuroscience research at SfN.org
April 4, 2018 | Science
The March for Science has grown into an organization of advocates that aim to have year-round programming including community organizing and communication skills and highlight a new, diverse policy issue each month. The March for Science is transitioning into different efforts based on locality in which European and other local organizers note that it has evolved into a proactive celebration for science rather than a rally against something.
- Learn about US Advocacy Programs at SfN.org
March 20, 2018 | Science
French President Emmanuel Macron announced a €1.5 billion plan to turn France into a world leader in artificial intelligence (AI) research and innovation. The strategy includes a national research plan to be led by the French National Institute for Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (INRIA) and focus on AI ethics.
- Find science funding resources at SfN.org
April 3, 2018 | Nature
A committee of the European Parliament is set to vote this month on changes to copyright regulations in the EU, but provisions within the most recent drafts have raised concern from open-science advocates. These advocates believe that the provisions would harm research, scholarly communication, and overburden most institutions.
- Find information about Global Advocacy Programs at SfN.org
March 29, 2018 | Nature
Recent research revealed that graduate students are six times more likely than the general public to be depressed. This editorial highlights some of the aspects of graduate education that are to blame including financial burden, a hostile work environment, lack of career guidance, and a difficult job market. The author argues for the need for reflection on graduate student mental health and Nature vows commitment to covering the pressures of early career scientists.
- Learn more about stress and the brain on BrainFacts.org
April 4, 2018 | STAT
In this op-ed, Elisa Hurley, executive director of Public Responsibility in Medicine in Research, suggests ways the government can ensure policy changes do not weaken animal welfare standards when reviewing and reforming federal policies for lab animal research. Hurley also noted that the NIH is accepting public comment on their review of laboratory animal research policies and regulations until June 12th.
- Read more about Animals in Research at SfN.org
April 3, 2018 | The Conversation
This editorial looks at legal distinctions regarding responsibility in relation to brain implants. The authors present hypothetical situations in which science and technology could challenge long-held legal assumptions of responsibly and suggests society begin to discuss these questions.
- Find more information on deep brain stimulation on BrainFacts.org
Articles of Interest
April 3, 2018 | Scientific American
NIH is creating the largest database of human genetic records starting this spring, yet some worry that data collected may not be secure from third party sellers in the future. NIH’s investment in such large institutional projects may also benefit high-profile labs disproportionately and make it difficult for smaller labs to compete for grant funding.
- Learn more about big data and scientific rigor at Neuronline.org
April 4, 2018 | Nature
A new project is focused on improving the efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which typically treats depression in 50% of people. Future clinical trials will combine brain activity recordings via electroencephalography (EEG) with transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) to stimulate brain activity at specific frequencies and assess whether a larger proportion of people with depression are receptive to individualized stimulation treatments.
- Learn about depression treatment methods on BrainFacts.org
April 4, 2018 | Scientific American
A recent study in rhesus macaques demonstrates that Zika exposure after birth results in brain damage and behavioral development problems. Although infected infants did not develop the severe conditions of humans exposed prenatally, brain regions involved in vision and emotional processing were particularly affected by Zika infection early in life.
- Find more information on Zika and the brain on BrainFacts.org