Archive for the ‘Jobs’ Category

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has released a new report, Sustaining Discovery in Biological and Medical Sciences: A Framework for Discussion,detailing FASEB’s most recent analysis of the problems/issues facing the biomedical research enterprise.

From the executive summary: “FASEB….is concerned about the future of biological and medical research. Inconsistent investment policies, growing demands for research funding, and outdated policies are jeopardizing current and future progress in this important area of research. This is a serious problem for the nation, and requires immediate attention and action.”

Options for mitigating the multitude of problems discussed in the FASEB report include: 1: Maximize research funding; 2: Optimize funding mechanisms; and 3: Improve workforce utilization and training.

ScienceInsider writes, “Although it echoes previous reports, FASEB’s analysis breaks new ground for the society because it provides “a comprehensive view of the problem and recognizes that an increase in funding is not the way out of this dilemma,” says Howard Garrison, director of FASEB’s Office of Public Affairs. He said FASEB’s board now hopes to collect feedback from its membership.”

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From the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Science Network Workshop Series:

101: Science & Policy Change: Using your expertise to influence the policy making process

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Presenters: Kate Cell, Senior Outreach Coordinator, UCS Climate and Energy Program; Dr. Dave Cooke, Vehicles Analyst, UCS Clean Vehicles Program; Dr. Daniel Pomeroy, AGU Congressional Science Fellow, Office of Senator Edward Markey

In today’s partisan political climate and noisy media landscape, science doesn’t always get an equal seat at the table in the policy making process. But for experts who want to make a difference on the issues they care about, there are opportunities to be a voice of influence and reason at all levels of policy making. This webinar is a guide for scientists and other experts who are interested in learning how they can use their expertise to make an impact on the policy process at the local, state, or national level. We will cover an approach to the theory of social change as it relates to the policy process, what it takes to create policy opportunities and how to identify them, strategies for working with coalitions, and advice on how to be a resource for decision makers. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to experts who have been involved in every step of the process, from organizing to coalition-building to advising a legislator.

 

ECS: So You Want to Work in Science Policy: What the experts wish they knew when they were students

Thursday, September 25, 2014, 3:00 p.m. EDT

Presenters: Christopher Boniface, UCS National Advisory Board member and molecular biologist; Emily Boniface, UCS National Advisory Board member and cell and molecular biologist; Andrew Rosenberg, Director, the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS

Whether you’re a grad student, post-doc, or early career scientist, if you’re interested in a career at the nexus of science and policy, it may be hard to know where to look for guidance. Join us for a Google+ Hangout with three scientists who have been in your shoes. Our experts will share tips on how to make the most of the resources that are available to you, and personal stories about what they wish they knew when they were finishing their degrees. During this interactive Hangout you’ll have plenty of time to ask your questions about building your network, finding a mentor, and where to look for resources and guidance as you take the next step in your career.

New Action Alert from Research!America:

Funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has remained flat in recent years, and uncertainty is growing over the ability of universities and other research institutions to conduct the noncommercial medical research underlying new preventative measures, diagnostic tools, treatments, and cures. In response to significant concerns about the erosion of NIH’s purchasing power, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced legislation, the Advancing Biomedical Research Act, that empowers Congress to provide up to 10% increases in NIH funding for FY 2015 and FY 2016, and up to 5% increases through 2021. These increases are more than justified by the scientific opportunity unleashed when the human genome was sequenced. And that’s just one of the developments that has set the stage for accelerated medical progress. We need to conquer Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and other deadly and disabling health threats…and we can. Show Congress that you support Senator Harkin’s efforts to fuel medical progress. Urge the senators who represent you to support the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act now!

http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/07/greening-food-pyramid

“Advice about a healthy diet might soon take the planet itself into account. The next version of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the major nutrition report from the government agencies that brought you the food pyramid, seems likely to contain advice about sustainable food choices. The prospect is already generating controversy.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/07/hivaids-field-shocked-death-leading-researcher-mh17-crash

“As thousands of researchers gathered here today to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference, which starts Sunday, the usual joyous hugs of greeting between far-flung colleagues were replaced by hugs of sorrow at the loss of Dutch HIV scientist Joep Lange, a leading light in the field, and at least five others heading to the meeting who were on the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down over Ukraine on 17 July.”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/07/wellcome-trust-looks-to-youth-and-high-risk-research.html

“The United Kingdom’s largest biomedical charity is to shake up the way it forks out its funding, with an increased emphasis on ‘high-risk’ research and stronger support for less-experienced scientists.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/07/australia-scraps-carbon-tax

“Bucking global efforts to curtail carbon pollution, Australia’s conservative government yesterday abolished a national carbon tax that it had long opposed. The move to “ax the tax”—as Prime Minister Tony Abbott is fond of saying—makes Australia the first country in the world to abolish a functioning carbon pricing scheme.”

 

http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2014/07/17/formula-for-innovation-people-ideas-time/

“To meet the changing needs of the biomedical workforce, NIH is piloting the concept of awarding longer grants that provide more stable support for investigators at all career stages. It is our hope that with more sustained support, investigators will have more freedom to innovate and explore new lines of inquiry. The NIH Pioneer Award, supported by the Common Fund, represents a compelling example of such an approach. Pioneer Awards supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering – and possibly transformative approaches – to major research challenges. This award allows for $500,000 annually in direct costs for five years, and, in a recent evaluation, was shown to facilitate a high level of innovation and productivity.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/scientific-community/2014/07/1-scientific-publishing

“Publishing is one of the most ballyhooed metrics of scientific careers, and every researcher hates to have a gap in that part of his or her CV. Here’s some consolation: A new study finds that very few scientists—fewer than 1%—manage to publish a paper every year.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/07/researcher-sues-block-retraction-golden-rice-paper

“A researcher whose nutrition study in Chinese children was found in breach of ethical regulations is going to court to salvage a paper describing her results. Nutrition scientist Guangwen Tang is suing the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and Tufts University, where she has worked for more than 25 years, to prevent the retraction of her 2012 paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

 

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/nih-to-require-sex-reporting-in-preclinical-studies.html

“The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require grant applicants to report the sex of animals and cells used in preclinical studies, officials said today….

Under the new NIH policy, which will begin to take effect in October of this year, grant applicants will have to describe how they plan to balance the sexes for cells and animals used in their studies….

Yet the problem is bigger than just sex bias: factors such as age and genetic background can all greatly influence how an animal responds to a treatment. Brad Bolon, a veterinary pathologist at Ohio State University in Columbus, thinks the new NIH rules ignore the real problem. “By drawing so much attention to matter of sex, it avoids the whole crux of the issue,” which is too little transparency on the details of experimental design as a whole, he says.

Bolon also worries about added costs that may result from the new rules. To get enough statistical power to draw conclusions about each sex, researchers may need to double the number of animals used in the study. “Arbitrarily saying that research must be done in both sexes, especially early on, is going to take money out of testing truly novel hypotheses,” he says.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/policy/2014/05/u.s.-senate-shelves-long-debated-patent-troll-bill

A U.S. Senate bill intended to crack down on frivolous patent lawsuits has floundered after months of negotiation between key stakeholders. The bill aimed to discourage so-called patent trolls—companies that amass patents with no intention of making any product and instead generate revenue by filing suits against allegedly infringing firms. But opponents of the bill—including university groups and biotech firms—feared the Senate’s offensive against patent predators would make it too costly for legitimate patent holders to protect their claims.”

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=314737115&ft=1&f=

Setting his sights on Republicans who reject climate change, an environmentalist billionaire is unveiling plans to spend $100 million this year in seven competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, as his super PAC works to counteract a flood of conservative spending by the Koch brothers.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/05/nih-will-no-longer-require-special-review-u.s.-gene-therapy-trials

In a milestone for the field of gene therapy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer subject all proposed gene therapy clinical trials to review by a special federal advisory committee.”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/uproar-as-anti-gm-vine-activists-acquitted-in-france.html

“French scientists are up in arms over the recent court acquittal of 54 activists who destroyed 70 experimental genetically modified (GM) grapevines in eastern France in August 2010.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/04/first-global-drug-resistance-overview-paints-grim-picture

“Without urgent, coordinated action by many stakeholders, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” wrote Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, in a press statement.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/climate/2014/05/u.s.-climate-changes-white-house-embraces-science-never

The White House has just released its new National Climate Assessment (NCA), and its central scientific message will be familiar to climate scientists and the White House press corps. Climate impacts are already apparent in the United States, they are likely to worsen, and communities should begin factoring climate change into all kinds of decisions. From Hawaii to Maine, from the fishing industry to manufacturing, the report’s 30 chapters emphasize that “evidence of human-induced climate change continues to strengthen and that impacts are increasing across the country.””

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/uks-royal-society-still-trails-us-national-academy-of-sciences-in-female-members.html

“The Royal Society — the United Kingdom’s national science academy — today announced that it has elected 50 new fellows, who get to put the prestigious letters ‘FRS’ after their name….Just 14% of the new fellows are women, meaning that the Royal Society still lags behind the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in terms of female representation. The NAS had 21% women among the 84 newly elected members it announced two days ago, and consistently elects a higher proportion of women than its UK counterpart (see chart).”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/05/calling-polio-international-emergency-who-recommends-travel-requirements

Citing “extraordinary” circumstances, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the international spread of wild poliovirus a public health emergency of international concern. It is just the second time that WHO has declared an emergency, saying the recent export of polio from three nations to adjoining areas could threaten global efforts to eradicate the disease. “

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/asiapacific/2014/05/mega%E2%80%93marine-reserve-going-limits-fishers

The government of the Pacific island nation Kiribati has announced that it will close one of the world’s biggest marine reserves to all commercial fishing at the end of the year. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area, about the size of California, is home to the world’s last major stocks of tuna.”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/uk-politicians-wade-into-pharma-mega-deal.html

“Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has attempted to reassure UK politicians over its attempts to buy AstraZeneca, as political parties traded blows over the potential merger.”

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/04/u.s.-biomedical-research-unsustainable-prominent-researchers-warn

The U.S. biomedical science system “is on an unsustainable path” and needs major reform, four prominent researchers write in an opinion piece published today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers should “confront the dangers at hand,” the authors write, and “rethink” how academic research is funded, staffed, and organized,according to Science Careers (published by AAAS, which also publishes ScienceInsider).”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/04/ipcc-report-calls-for-climate-mitigation-action-now-not-later.html

“The world is heading towards possibly dangerous levels of global warming despite increasing efforts to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in its latest report today.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/europe/2014/04/pro-life-citizens-initiative-worries-e.u.-scientists

A group of European pro-life organizations is mobilizing against embryonic stem cell research in a way that the European Commission cannot ignore. One of Us, a so-called European citizens’ initiative, has collected 1.7 million signatures from all 28 E.U. member states for a proposal that would block funding for research in which embryos are destroyed; under E.U. rules, the European Commission must now consider turning the proposal into legislation.”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/04/acid-bath-stem-cell-scientist-apologizes-and-appeals.html

“Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the centre of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, today apologized for her errors in the work.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/health/2014/04/armed-new-data-researchers-again-challenge-effectiveness-antiflu-drug

BMJ has published the latest volley in a battle over one of the most controversial drugs of the 21st century: the anti-influenza compound oseltamivir, better known as Tamiflu. A working group of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international network of scientists that performs systematic reviews of the medical literature, has carried out the most exhaustive meta-analysis yet of the drug’s efficacy—and its conclusions are, once again, pretty damning.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/people-events/2014/04/white-house-budget-director-lead-health-and-human-services

President Barack Obama today nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell, director of the White House budget office, to replace Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/04/former-nih-stem-cell-chief-joins-new-york-foundation.html

“Stem-cell biologist Mahendra Rao, who resigned last week as director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a new job. On 9 April, he was appointed vice-president for regenerative medicine at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), a non-profit organization that funds embryonic stem-cell research.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/04/u.s.-park-service-nixes-immediate-genetic-rescue-isle-royale-wolves

The next chapter in the long-running scientific story of Michigan’s Isle Royale wolves will not include a dramatic genetic rescue. After 2 years of consideration, the National Park Service (NPS) announced this week that it will not introduce mainland wolves to revive the genetically inbred and declining wolf population on the isolated island. “The decision is not to intervene as long as there is a breeding population,” Isle Royale National Park Superintendent Phyllis Green tells ScienceInsider.  “