Prepared by Barbara Bryant, ISCB liaison to the FASEB Board of Directors
and Public Affairs Executive Committee
ISCB became a member of the Federation of American Societies for
Experimental Biology in 2003. Updates and notices are published
via the ISCB newsletter and website to keep members informed of
the issues FASEB is working on. Further background on ISCBs
interaction can be found at http://www.iscb.org/newsletter7-2/faseb.html
and FASEB announcements are frequently posted at http://www.iscb.org/faseb.shtml
The FASEB offers a legislative action center at http://capwiz.com/faseb/home/
and sends alerts, such as NIH funding and stalled genetic nondiscrimination
legislation, to interested members. To receive electronic legislative
action alerts sign up at http://capwiz.com/faseb/mlm/?ignore_cookie=1
Recent FASEB activities in public policy:
NIH funding levels for 2005 are looking relatively grim,
with a decrease in funding after accounting for inflation. FASEB
is lobbying for a larger NIH budget by trying to increase the overall
allocation to discretionary funding (which includes the NIH budget),
as opposed to fighting for a larger fraction of the existing dollars.
This approach allows partnering with other organizations that would
otherwise be competitors.
There is concern that negative publicity surrounding congressional
hearings addressing the issue of NIH employees receiving consulting
fees from companies will erode public and political support for
FASEB has participated with the National Academy of Sciences
in meetings and research to develop new ideas for supporting post
docs and new investigators. Some of the discussion focuses on supporting
new investigators in the grant process, with mentoring, review practice
changes, and rules changes.
FASEB has been active in support of stem cell research; the
topic is gaining publicity and momentum; Nancy Reagans advocacy
is one example of this.
FASEB has been working with the Office of Research Integrity
to revise proposed regulation on research misconduct.
In response to increasing animal rights activism, FASEB is
creating presentation materials useful in the education of the public
as well as specialized groups. The materials describe rules on protections
and animal care, how to report suspected abuse, the extent to which
computer and cell line models can replace animals, and medical progress
which could only have happened by means of animal research.
Foreign students and scientists have experienced increasing
difficulties in traveling to and from the United States as a result
of homeland security. FASEB is working with other organizations
to advocate streamlined visa processing to address this problem.