April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment
NSF can move your research forward
The National Science Foundation is a valuable government partner for scientists and researcher, iAMscientist members and non alike. If you have yet to take advantage of any of their funding or professional networking opportunities, well, better late than never. There are tons of RFAs and tons more events coming up in which to participate.
Those in the D.C. area, or can get to the D.C. area, have a couple options regarding meeting NSF officials in person and learning from them directly. The first is a workshop about Career Proposals at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The workshop, entitled, “Preparation of Career Proposals to the National Science Foundation,” will be held Friday, May 6, noon-3 p.m. in The Commons Room 331. The workshop will be presented by Ralph M. Pollack, associate vice president for research. Those interested need to RSVP by Monday, May 2, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in what the leaders of the NSF are doing, the board will be having one of their five yearly meetings on May 10. These meetings are open to the public unless otherwise specified. A meeting agenda will be posted one week prior to the meeting.
Those of you in the Norman, OK area may want to consider the NSF workshop, “Science: Becoming the Messenger.” The workshop will be held on May 24, 2011, at the National Weather Center on the University of Oklahoma Research Campus located in Norman. There is no registration fee to attend but pre-registration is required. The registration deadline is Wednesday, May 11, 2011. This workshop is very popular and fills up quickly, so if you are interested its best to register today.
One the bigger events coming up with the NSF is the 2011 Joint Annual Meeting (JAM11) being held by the Division of Human Resource Development within the NSF’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources. JAM11 will take place at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC, from Monday, June 6, through Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Those interested in attending, or want more information about the event, can register or learn more at the NSF website.
April 24, 2011 § Leave a comment
Last week’s spending bill ends scientific exchanges
In all of hullabaloo raging in recent weeks about the federal government’s spending bill and a possible government shutdown, a little clause with big implications almost went unnoticed. Two sentences, inserted into the legislation by Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), prohibit any joint scientific activity between the two nations that involves NASA or is coordinated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The language in the spending bill says that no government funds can be used by NASA or OSTP “to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement or execute a bilateral policy, program, order, or contract of any kind to participate, collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company.” It also prevents any NASA facility from hosting “official Chinese visitors.”
“We don’t want to give them the opportunity to take advantage of our technology, and we have nothing to gain from dealing with them,” Wolf said. “And frankly, it boils down to a moral issue. … Would you have a bilateral program with Stalin?”
China and the United States have been collaborating on scientific projects for over 32 years, ever since the two countries signed the U.S.-China bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in 1979. The most recent of these projects is the Young Scientist Forum, a new initiative announced earlier this month, would seek to connect the brightest young scientists in the two countries.
The forum would explore ways to promote interaction between young U.S. and Chinese researchers using exchange programs and innovative technological platforms to facilitate discussions on topics of common interest regarding building careers and partnerships in science and the conduct of science, including research integrity, scientific responsibility and peer-review processes.
Besides this forum, China and the United States have cooperated on numerous projects over the year, in a variety of fields including agricultural biotechnology, natural resource management, food safety, physics and chemistry research, civil industrial technology, geology, health, and disaster relief.
Here at iAMscientist we’ve often advocated on the importance of collaboration and international cooperation. Members and scientists that are affected by this small bit of legislation, how have you been affected by this change? Those who aren’t affected, what do you think about this?
April 20, 2011 § 1 Comment
Building international relationships is important for peace, and scientific progress
Science diplomacy is the sharing of scientific information and establishing scientific collaborations with nations in which (insert your country here) has limited political relations. It’s not a new concept, at least not the collaborative sense. Projects such as the International Space Station and the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn involved the scientific efforts of multiple countries. The concept of science diplomacy has also been advocated by President Barack Obama, when earlier this year his speech in Cairo mentioned the importance of increased scientific collaboration between the United States and the Arab world.
Granted, science diplomacy can never replace political initiatives. However, science diplomacy can prove to be a powerful diplomatic tool. After all, it was the scientists that were instrumental in keeping the Cold War from warming up by maintaining a relationship between the United States and the USSR. Daryl Copeland, author of Guerilla Diplomacy, describes science diplomacy as “soft power… as a way to liberate scientific and technological knowledge from its rigid national and institutional enclosures and to unleash its progressive potential through collaboration and sharing with interested partners world-wide.”
The key point about science diplomacy is that it doesn’t start at the top with government leaders and lawmakers. This type of diplomacy starts with the scientists and researchers who have an interest in working with other countries on global innovation, technology and solutions. As Nina Federoff, former science adviser to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, put it on NPR in February, “Science is about collaborating and exchanging data, and that’s something we can do now.” In order for scientists all over the world to participate in, well, science, all we need to do is communicate with each other about what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what he plan to do.
Ali Douraghy, a 2010-11 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, said in a September 2010 column on SciDev.net that “the challenge is to put people — scientists and researchers — at the forefront of engagement…. Science and policy communities across the globe must work together to create new initiatives and re-visit existing instruments to sustain collaboration and exchange between scientists.” One of the ways to begin collaborating and exchanging data is to talk to the folks at iAMscientist. With over 20,000 members spanning four continents, the researchers that are part of this social network of scientific leaders have had their research published in over 300,000 publications. Even if you may not need to add a new colleague to the team or need international help on your research, get networking for the sake of networking!
April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
$2.2 billion in cuts to science-related agencies
With federal lawmakers reaching a deal this week about the 2011 fiscal year, research and development took a hit. Lawmakers agreed to preserve the maximum Pell Grant, but cut a lot of research and education programs.
Originally, it was predicted that organizations like the NSF could see a 13 percent budget increase, but that was not the case in this deal. The NSF saw its research account trimmed by $53 million, to $5.51 billion, and its education directorate saw $12 million cut from its $873 million budget in 2010.
Although these cuts for the sciences could have been worse, as Republicans had originally proposed a $1.4 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health and a $359.5 million cut from the National Science Foundation, President Obama also said his administration would no longer plan to double NSF’s budget in the next 11 years. The graph above, from Nature.com, shows exact cuts that were made to various scientific organizations.
“Bigger budget battles may lie ahead,” reported Kelly Field of The Chronicle of Higher Education. “During the next few months, Congress will have to negotiate a spending bill for fiscal year 2012, which starts on October 1, and decide whether to raise the limit on what the government can borrow.”
The budget deal gives the NSF an overall budget of $6.81 billion for fiscal year 2011, which runs until September 30. As a result of the budget decrease, NSF officials expect to make 134 fewer awards and support 1500 fewer researchers, students, teachers, and technical support personnel than the agency did last year. However, these numbers are not set in stone, as the NSF is also required to submit a detailed spending plan signed by Director Subra Suresh, Ph.D., to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees within 60 days of enactment of the budget agreement.
Other scientific agencies seeing budget changes:
• FDA’s budget would climb 4%, from $2.452 billion in FY ’11 from $2.345 billion in FY ’10. FDA’s budget would be 14% above the $2.104 billion sought by the House.
• The Office of Science, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, would lose $35 million, leaving it with $4.88 billion in FY ’11, or $866 million more than what the House approved. President Obama’s FY ’12 budget proposal would raise that funding to about $5.4 billion. Of the cuts, $16.6 million will come from a contractor pay freeze instituted by the department, while $15 million will come from unobligated balances from past years’ appropriations.
April 9, 2011 § 1 Comment
With over 20,000 scientists across four continents, it’s time that iAMscientist took a closer look at the scientists and researchers who make up our network. Published in over 300,000 publications, the people here are leaders in their respective fields, and one way to demonstrate this leadership is to highlight some of the publications that have published the research of iAMscientist.
If any of these publications are of interest, you can search for the specific researchers that have been published in that journal by utilizing our search engine. The only way to connect with these people, however, is to sign up for an account on iAMscientist (it’s totally free!)
Below are just 10 of the 300,000+ publications that have featured the researcher of those in the iAMscientist community. Don’t worry if none of these publications seem relevant to you, as we’ll be highlighting more journals in the future.
Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology – A bi-monthly, peer-reviewed scientific e-journal published by the Diabetes Technology Society, the purpose of this journal is to promote the development and adoption of new products to help people with diabetes. This journal covers all aspects of diabetes technology including, glucose monitoring; insulin and metabolic peptide delivery; the artificial and bioartificial pancreas, telemedicine; software for modeling; physiologic monitoring; technology for managing obesity; diagnostic tests of glycation; the use of bioengineered tools, and new biomaterials. Articles also cover both basic research and clinical applications of technologies being developed to help people with diabetes.
International Journal of Clinical Chemistry – The leading international journal of clinical laboratory science, this journal publishes research on topics such as molecular diagnostics and genetics; hemostasis and thrombosis; enzymes and protein markers; lipids, lipoproteins, and cardiovascular risk factors; drug monitoring and toxicology, hematology; and endocrinology and metabolism.
Behavioural Processes – This journal is dedicated to the publication of high-quality original research on animal behaviour from any theoretical perspective. It publishes three categories of paper. First are regular Research Reports, which present the results of original experiments or outline novel theoretical positions. Second are invited, critical Mini-Reviews, polemical reviews of an area of animal behavioral research accompanied by a number of responses by peers in the area. Though these reviews are invited, prospective authors are encouraged to contact the editors with their ideas for such papers. Third are Rapid Reports, short communications reporting the outcome of a single experiment in no more than 2000 words and a total of two tables or figures.
American Journal of Cardiology – An independent, scientific, peer-reviewed journal of original articles that focus on the practical, clinical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, this journal has one of the fastest acceptance to publication times in cardiology. Features report on systemic hypertension, methodology, drugs, pacing, arrhythmia, preventive cardiology, congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, and cardiomyopathy.
Journal of Clinical Oncology – Serving its readers as the single most credible, authoritative resource for disseminating significant clinical oncology research, this journal strives to publish the highest quality articles dedicated to clinical research. Original Reports remain the focus of JCO, but this scientific communication is enhanced by appropriately selected Editorials, Commentaries, Reviews, and other work that relate to the care of patients with cancer.
International Journal of Psychophysiology – The official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, this publication provides a respected forum for the publication of high quality original contributions on all aspects of psychophysiology. It’s interdisciplinary and aims to integrate the neurosciences and behavioral sciences. Manuscripts will detail the study of physiological measures such as the ones mentioned, or others, along with a variety of behavioral measures that may include sensation and perception, learning, memory, evolution and development of behaviour, motivation and emotion, aggression and defence, interhemispheric relations, information processing, sleep, stress, psychopharmacology and psychophysiological disorders.
April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
Emphasis on new platforms and inter-disciplinary research and development
New platforms and approaches in research and development are leading towards bigger, better, and more groundbreaking advances in science and technology. After previously discussing the present status of research and development in regards to Big Pharma and Biotech companies, it’s time to take a look at the future and highlight two examples to promote inter-disciplinary R&D.
Combining government entities for R&D
And a good example of an inter-disciplinary union is LifeScienceUK, a new initiative to build on the government’s commitment to transform the life sciences environment in the United Kingdom. Facilitating inter-disciplinary research among the country’s major human healthcare industries: biotechnology; pharmaceuticals; medical devices and diagnostics; the founding members are the Association of British Healthcare Industries, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the BioIndustry Association, and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association.
Areas of interest for LifeScienceUK include the continuous improvement of the investment environment for UK companies; improved access to new medicines, devices, diagnostics and technologies; and the importance of the life science sector to the British economy. The numbers for R&D in the UK are also as strong for pharmaceutical companies as in the United States. A recent government report, “Strength and Opportunity”, showed a three percent increase in employment and an 18 percent increase in turnover to £5.5 billion in medical biotechnology. The government’s R&D Scoreboard also revealed that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors continued to be the largest contributor to R&D in 2009, accounting for more than 35 percent of all R&D investment in the 1,000 top performing companies in the UK. U.S spending on R&D totalled $395 billion last year.
This union, as well as the numbers, demonstrate that the growth and interest in research and development from Big Pharma and Biotech companies is a worldwide trend. Folks all over the world, performing all sorts of research, ought to be looking into this matter a little more closely.
Creating societies with an emphasis in inter-disciplinary R&D
Another one of these new platforms for research and development is an honors society dedicated to the emerging field of inter-disciplinary research. A group of graduate students is currently founding the National Interdisciplinary Honor Society at Virginia Tech, the first of its kind in North America.
The goal of the IDR Honor Society is to promote communication between students of different disciplines and promote new interdisciplinary research.
“It’s as much about the social community as it is about research,” said Ivan Sergejev, an architecture masters student. “So one of the objectives that we have is that the funding for interdisciplinary research rises and there are more projects.”
The honor society will be hosting an Interdisciplinary Research Day on April 19 to talk about research and to raise interest in the organization.
Alireza Salmanzadeh, a mechanical systems engineering graduate student at Virginia Tech, said that the event would include roundtable sessions for students and faculty to come up with proposals for inter-disciplinary research, and the best ideas would receive awards.
“They could include all the disciplines that are sitting at that table,” Salmanzadeh said.
The event will take place at the Inn at Virginia Tech on April 19. Everyone is invited to the event, but registration is required.
If unable to attend the event at Virginia Tech for whatever reason, tap into the same benefits of an inter-disciplinary society by networking with folks on other websites. A great place to find other companies and associations to collaborate with in the bulging realm of research and development is iAMscientist, where publications, RFAs, and research trends can be posted and found for scientists all over the world. Turn discoveries into opportunities with the global community of top-notch scientists at iAMscientist.