Pictured above: 2015-16 Global Advocacy Seed Grant awardee, the Mongolian Neuroscience Society.
“Care has been taken to adopt a global voice to express all views. IBRO’s mandate is to articulate a vision of what advocacy means across different countries and cultures, and our organization aims to provide workable models that can be adapted to various regional situations.”
- Pierre Magistretti, IBRO President
GLOBAL ADVOCACY INITIATIVE: BACKGROUND
Developing and protecting human potential through brain research is the key to solving the world’s most challenging problems. While medical progress and improved living conditions have generally increased lifespans across the globe, an ageing population brings unprecedented challenges to our medical systems and societies, with neurological issues such as Alzheimer’s threatening to boost healthcare costs beyond individual countries’ ability to afford them.
Furthermore, in many parts of the world, neurological diseases such as epilepsy are not well understood or even accepted as underlying causes of disability. It is because of these issues that people – from politicians and policymakers to parents and children – must understand the importance of neuroscience research and how it can benefit human welfare. However, even in the most developed countries, other areas of concern are considered higher priorities than brain research, despite the reality that most issues must be addressed with human brain power.
As a global neuroscience federation dedicated to supporting and promoting neuroscience around the world, IBRO was chosen by leading neuroscience societies in 2013 to lead the collaborative Global Advocacy Initiative. It grew out of an earlier collaboration between the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), whose advocacy efforts are mainly focused within North America, and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), which mobilizes its member societies to pursue advocacy work in Europe.
Along with several other national neuroscience societies, SfN and FENS agreed that IBRO should become the global coordinator of this initiative in order to ensure cultural and regional applicability through its deep knowledge of other regions based on decades of capacity building in less developed regions of the world.
Founding partners - Society for Neuroscience (SfN), The Dana Foundation, Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN), Japan Neuroscience Society (JNS) and the Australasian Neuroscience Society (ANS) - launched a long-term funding program in 2014 that has included regional workshops and global advocacy seed grants, prioritizing those regions and cultures with the greatest need for education and advocacy.
ADVOCACY: A GLOBAL COMMITMENT (video generously produced by SfN)
Neuroscientists worldwide make discoveries that advance science and improve the health of millions of people. Continued progress relies on public funding for basic, translational, and clinical science. To make the connection between scientific discovery and strong funding, it is vital for scientists to communicate effectively and frequently with the public and policymakers. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXDN0gxLZqs]