News and Events: An alternative ice-bucket challenge, China says no to GMO, and Iranian reformer ousted

Posted: August 25, 2014 in advocacy, Events, Funding, Policy, Science

http://researchamerica.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/a-weekly-advocacy-message-from-mary-woolley-deep-thoughts-occasioned-by-ice-buckets/#more-2309

Dr. Mary Woolley, Research!America President and CEO, shares her thoughts on the ALS ice bucket challenge and issues her own challenge. “Where will change come from?  Probably not from more ice bucket challenges, per se, yet we should not underestimate the power of social media that is driving this challenge.  The science community is not particularly adept with social media and may even disparage it.  But we do so at great risk if we care about staying relevant and accessible to the public.  Using social media this election season to ask candidates to take a stand on the importance or lack of importance they assign to medical progress is a different challenge than pouring freezing cold water over your head and/or writing a check to the ALS Association.  Both are ways to speak out about the importance of fighting back against diseases instead of standing down, as Congress appears to be doing. Contact your candidates and tell them what you think. Don’t wait; seize this teachable moment; make a phone call; show up at a town hall meeting;  use social media to connect to candidates. Tap our list of candidates’ Twitter handles to easily direct a tweet to their attention.  And take the ice bucket challenge!”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/08/china-pulls-plug-genetically-modified-rice-and-corn

“China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to renew biosafety certificates that allowed research groups to grow genetically modified (GM) rice and corn. The permits, to grow two varieties of GM rice and one transgenic corn strain, expired on 17 August. The reasoning behind the move is not clear, and it has raised questions about the future of related research in China.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/education/2014/08/flow-chinese-grad-students-u-s-slows

“For years, U.S. university administrators have worried that China’s massive investment in higher education would eventually mean fewer Chinese students seeking to earn advanced science and engineering degrees at their institutions. A new survey from the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) hints that the time may be approaching: For the second straight year, graduate applications from Chinese students are essentially flat. So is the number of acceptances, the first time that has happened in nearly a decade.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/education/2014/08/iranian-parliament-ousts-reform-minded-science-minister

“A monthslong effort to breathe new life into Iranian universities is at a crossroads after the ouster on Wednesday of the nation’s reformist science minister, Reza Faraji-Dana. “His downfall is a sad day for science in Iran,” says a scientist at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran who asked to remain anonymous because of the uncertain political climate.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/08/science-group-asks-u-s-energy-secretary-intervene-case-fired-los-alamos

“A science advocacy group is calling on Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to get involved in the case of political scientist James Doyle, who was fired by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) after publishing a scholarly article questioning the value of nuclear weapons.”

 

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/25/3475190/date-rape-nail-polish/#

Alternative response/opinion to the recent headline grabbing Undercolor Colors, a new nail polish that will detect certain types of date rape drugs in liquids. “While the new product has captured its fair share of headlines over the past week, sexual assault prevention advocates warn that it’s not necessarily the best way to approach the sexual assault epidemic on college campuses.”

 

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