FABBS News Highlights: March 29, 2019
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Posted by: Psychonomic Society
with Dr. Susan Fiske, Founding Editor of Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (PIBBS)
PIBBS Journal publishes invited articles, from FABBS member societies, that present brief reviews of behavioral and brain scientific findings relevant to public policy. The goal of this journal is to provide a vehicle for scientists to share research findings
to help build sound policies and be a resource for policy and decision makers looking for digestible research to inform policies and practices.
PIBBS challenges behavioral and brain scientists to seriously consider the complexity of translating research to implementation, so that the
needs of society can be addressed.
Launched in 2014 by founding Editor Susan T. Fiske, PIBBS was recently a finalist for a PROSE (Professional and Scholarly Excellence) Award
in the category of the best new journal in social sciences. Below is a Q&A with Dr. Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs, Princeton University and former FABBS board President.
inspired you to develop this journal?
PIBBS invites basic scientists to take seriously the policy implications of their work. In brief, pithy reviews, they write for an educated
audience, as honest brokers for what the science can (and cannot yet) tell us about how to make the world a better place.
Legislaion Affecting Our Sciences
order to advance sciences of mind, brain and behavior, in addition to the federal funding for our sciences,FABBS
tracks legislation with potential impact – positive and negative – on the scientific process. Below are some examples of legislation that FABBS is currently monitoring, taking a position on, or trying to influence. Also included are several important federal
agencies and acts due for reauthorization expected to be introduced this session. If you are aware of a piece of legislation with relevance to brain and behavioral sciences, please bring it to our attention.
more about the bills we are tracking »
The budget process is in full swing on Capitol Hill. Earlier this week, House Appropriations subcommittees held numerous hearings with federal
agency leadership including the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education. The tone of the two hearings could not have been more different. Dr. France Cordova was warmly received when she provided
testimony to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee. Committee members from both sides of the aisle expressed appreciation for her leadership and intentions to provide more money to NSF. Down the hall, Secretary Betsy DeVos had a very
experience testifying before the Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee. In opening
comments, Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) scolded DeVos for her stewardship of the Department and her ‘irresponsible’ budget proposal. In expressing her displeasure with cuts to the Department of Education, Chair DeLauro mentioned specific concerns regarding cuts
to the Institutes for Education Sciences. Secretary DeVos
testified in the Senate on March 28.
FABBS continues to collaborate with the broadscientific community to encourage Congress to raise budget caps and maintain parity in spending
on defense and nondefense discretionary budgets. In addition to lending our name to letters, FABBS led a team for the Coalition for Health Funding advocacy day, meeting with offices to explain the need for health funding and encouraging them to raise the caps.
EARLY CAREER SPOTLIGHT: Julie Golomb, PhD,
Vision Sciences Society
Sense from Dots of Light
For Julie Golomb, it all started with a college course in visual perception. “I realized that all of these things I take for granted about how
I perceive the world are actually really hard challenges for the brain to solve.”
How do we recognize our coffee mug? How do we pick out a friend’s face in the crowd? Or know that the round, white and black thing flying at
us is, in fact, a soccer ball?
This constant bombardment of rich and usually moving pictures start out simply as dots of light hitting different spots on the retina.
Those dots create a map of where things are in the world before heading to the brain, where the deep processing takes place that Golomb studies
in her lab.
While the brain is busy almost instantaneously processing incoming data, the world outside is continuously moving and changing, as are our eyes–an
emphasis in Golomb’s lab.
“The brain has a hard job, and it does a remarkable job,” Golomb says. “But it is not perfect.” A lot of learning about the brain is based
on its mistakes.
Nora Newcombe Wins Howard Crosby Warren Medal
FABBS President, Nora Newcombe, Temple University, has
been awarded the
Howard Crosby Warren Medal. The Society of Experiment Psychology (SEP) issues the award in recognition of outstanding achievement in Experimental Psychology in the United States and Canada. Dr. Newcombe was recognized “for her distinguished research contributions
on fundamental aspects of cognition and development, with emphasis on spatial cognition and the development of memory”. The medal is sometimes referred to as “psychology’s
See the write-up on Dr. Newcombe
and APA Bring Issue of Scientist Human Rights to the Hill
On March 22, 2019, the Society for the Psychological
Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), the American Psychological Association – both FABBS member societies – and other organizations co-sponsored a briefing “Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Scientists, Scholars, and Students Around the World”. The briefing
brought to light a troubling trend of scholars being kidnapped, imprisoned, or otherwise threatened. The cause of these hostile acts may be one of several reasons, including research in sensitive or taboo topics, persecution based on identity, and aspects
related to the political climate.
Apply and Nominate
C-Accel Webinar (April 3)
SfN Virtual Conference:
From Behavior to Brain — The Neuroethological Way to Neuroscience (April 3)
Initiative Investigators Meeting (April 11-13, Washington, DC)
RDoC ABCT Webinar:
How Can RDoC Inform Suicide Intervention Research and Treatment?
NASEM Public Information Gathering Session: Applying
Lessons of Optimal Adolescent Health to Improve Behavioral Outcomes for Youth (April 17, Washington, DC)
Mid-Atlantic Biofeedback Society Annual Meeting (May
4, Columbia, MD)
Board on Behavioral, Cognitive,
and Sensory Sciences (June 5-6, Washington, DC)
12th NIH Matilda White Riley Behavioral and
Social Sciences Honors (June 6, Bethesda, MD)
APA Technology, Mind and Society Conference (Oct 3-5, Washington,
UPCOMING FABBS MEMBER SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETINGS
FABBS News Highlights is a monthly electronic newsletter published by the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences with the
goals of keeping scientists updated on funding and policy issues affecting the sciences of mind, brain and behavior; recognizing the research contributions of leading scientists; and sharing research findings to inform policies and programs.
Editor: Juliane Baron
Contributors: Juliane Baron, Diana Liao, Jennifer
FABBS promotes human potential and well-being by advancing the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior; promoting scientific research and training in these fields; educating the public
about the contributions of research to the health and well-being of individuals and society; fostering communication among scientists; and recognizing scientists who have made significant contributions to building knowledge.