World Science Festival | May 29 - June 2, 2013 -
Minds Expanded. 5 Days. 50 Events. Infinite Ideas.
The World Science Festival (WSF) is back in NYC and kicking off next week :) The festival is not specific to neuroscience but there will be a lot of neuroscience related events. This year, scientists from NYU/Columbia/Sinai will man a brain table on Brain Boulevard at the Ultimate Science Street Fair in Washington Square Park on Sunday, June 2, 2013. We will have a brain bank, C. elegans specimens, and a spiker box for recording electrical signals from your muscles! Yours truly will also be there from 3PM-6PM if you want to drop by and say hi. In addition, there will be other interactive exhibits like the Space Place, Climate Corner and Innovation Alley.
Hope some of you can make it!
nicolecaruana92 asked: Hello, I have a Bachelors in Psychology and am currently applying for a Masters in Cognitive neuroscience at UCL. In my application i've been asked to submit what type of research i'm interested in. Do you have any tips with regards to latest research in this field or what you would write about so that I have more chance of my application being accepted? Kind regards Nicole Caruana Malta. Love your blog btw !! xx
I am not in the area of cognitive neuroscience so it is hard to say. I would suggest doing some research and finding an area/topic of special interest to you because by the time you get in/conduct your research projects/graduate there will probably be a new direction/finding in the field. Basically, what is relevant and new now will probably be a little older and perhaps less exciting down the line. I think you should go into something you’re intellectually invested in so that you can come across as passionate. That’s just my two cents. And thanks!
NIH Details Impact of 2013 Sequester Cuts -
After weeks of worrying about how the mandatory across-the-board 2013 budget cuts known as the sequester would play out at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the biomedical research community now has final figures. The bottom line is as grim as expected: The agency’s overall budget will fall by $1.55 billion compared to 2012, to $29.15 billion, a cut of about 5%, according to an NIH notice today. That is essentially what NIH predicted as part of the 5.1% sequestration.
As a result, NIH expects to fund 8283 new and competing research grants this year, a drop of 703, according to this table. That number firms up the “hundreds fewer” awards that NIH officials warned of earlier this year. Including ongoing (already awarded) grants that are ending, the total number of research grants will drop by 1357 to 34,902 awards. The decline “reflects the fact that NIH’s budget is being shrunk due to the new budget and political reality, which is bad news for researchers and the patients they are trying to help,” says Tony Mazzaschi of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C.
NIH will try to keep the size of the average award consistent with 2012; it will not award inflationary increases for future years. The agency also expects to trim continuing grants. Grants that were cut up to 10% earlier this year because of budget uncertainty “may be partially restored,” but probably not to the original commitment level, NIH’s notice says.
To be honest, when I read this article my heart dropped a little because it highlights one of the harsh realities that people in science would rather not think/talk about. I’ve always felt it was a privilege to be able to do science with federal funds but this is still disappointing. I can’t help but think how much harder getting a PhD and a postdoc is going to be :( However, I understand that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do and cut corners when and where you have to.
Science is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.
moosickstuffs asked: Oh, and I too find your blog extremely interesting and enjoyable. Keep it up.
moosickstuffs asked: Though I can understand the principle of this ask, IQ has been historically criticized and recently officially debunked, and as such giving specific stats is kind of anti-progressionist because it simply gives you an arbitrary figure of a test score commonly misconceived to be an even remotely accurate measure of intelligence. It appears to be more beneficial, when in fact it is the opposite.
forgetti-on-toast asked: For that last study you presented you might want to put the average declines they reported in your account of it. I'd say it makes it a bit more accessible and clear when you can say "an average decline of 6 IQ points" rather than just the more vague 'loss of IQ'. I dunno if you'd want to talk about p values as well bearing in mind how much they varied, I guess that's gonna exclude people without stats knowledge though. Great blog btw :)
That’s a good point. I guess I didn’t go into specifics about IQ decline because I don’t think IQ is as reliable of a measure of cognitive capacity and/or intelligence. I assumed that whoever read this and wanted to know specifics would go to the original article or one of the multiple write-ups it has received. I would talk about p values as you suggested, which may help, but in the interest of making the blog oriented towards a layperson I tend to to generalize/summarize. All in all, I don’t think that the work in the previous article is great (I have problems with the neuropsychological function measures), but it’s the most recent longitudinal study that I know of on the topic.
Thanks for reading my post so thoughtfully :) I love reading comments because it gives me an idea of how my audience thinks and what they understand. I’d also like to add that I welcome questions relating to my posts and the original articles :)