Federal News Roundup
- NIH Director Francis Collins celebrated 10 years as the head of the agency August 17.
- Collins has also been making weekly blog posts throughout the month of August in a series entitled, “The Amazing Brain”, highlighting recent advances from the BRAIN Initiative.
- Sen. Isakson (R-GA), the current chair of the Veterans’ Affairs committee, which includes oversight of medical and prosthetic research, announced that he will resign from his seat at the end of the year, citing health reasons. Sen. Moran (R-KS) is the most likely candidate to receive the gavel as Committee Chair.
- The largest package of bills on Congress’ plate this month will be the appropriations packages to fund the government. These must be passed by Sept. 30, or the government faces a possible shutdown. The top priority looks to be a package of Labor-HHS, Defense, and Energy funding bills.
Four Ways to Help Students Become Science Advocates
Jennifer Yates and Lori McMahon share ways to more effectively communicate science to policymakers and others who may be nonexperts in your field. Yates and McMahon deliver four critical lessons they say are essential for improving students’ science communication skills and helping them share their science.
Make the Case for Using Animals in Research
Watch Wendy Jarrett, the chief executive at Understanding Animal Research and a speaker at last year’s Animals in Research panel, speak on the importance of honest, open communication when discussing animals in research. Jarret suggests ways to frame the conversation of animals in research by connecting with your audience, offering perspective on the treatment development process, and partnering with your institution to ensure that the use of animals in research is highlighted.
Pew Research Center Studies on Science and Higher Education
The Pew Research Center recently released two articles on American’s views of scientific experts and higher education. These articles underscore that there is generally high confidence in scientists around the U.S., although fewer people see them as good communicators. The articles also highlight the areas for agreements and disagreements that persist on political lines when it comes to the public’s perception of scientists and higher education.
Administrative Burden on Animal Welfare Report Released
NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) recently released a report on the administrative burden surrounding animal research. The report between the NIH, USDA, and FDA outlines steps for identifying areas to protect animal welfare while reducing unnecessary administrative burdens in the next two years. SfN submitted feedback on these regulations in February of 2019 when requests for information were available for the report’s construction.
International News Headlines
- Science Diplomacy Leverages Alliances to Build Global Bridges - Science
- Australia to Tackle Foreign Interference at Universities – BBC News
- Bill to Fight Sexual Harassment in Universities Approved by Chilean Senate - Science
- In Brazil, Thousands of Research Fellowships Are at Risk – The Scientist
- Brain-Chip Engineer Tapped to Lead South Korea’s Science Ministry - Nature
- Budget Cuts are a Serious Threat to Future of Mexican Research: Scientists – Mexico News Daily
- China Approves Ethics Advisory Group After CRISPR-Babies Scandal - Nature
SfN Advocacy Resources
- Contact your legislator about research funding via the Advocacy Action Center.
- Watch the Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy series to understand the tools you need to help advance the field.
- Learn how to engage your members of Congress and persuasively advocate for science with SfN's Advocacy Best Practices.
- Get involved in global advocacy.
- Talk to the public about the importance of animal research.
- Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in preparing for your next advocacy effort at home or on Capitol Hill.