Early last week, the MacArthur Foundation announced the 2015 MacArthur Fellows. Former Dana grantee Beth Stevens was among the 24 recipients. According to MacArthur President Julia Stasch, the award goes to individuals who are “shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways.” The fellowship, colloquially known as the MacArthur ‘genius grant,’ comes with a $625,000 ‘no-strings-attached’ stipend to allow recipients to “advance their expertise [and] engage in bold new work.”
For the past twenty-one years, October 5 has remained a significant date dedicated to teachers everywhere, acknowledging their efforts in making education accessible, understandable, and essential for growth. This year’s World Teachers’ Day slogan is: Empowering teachers, building sustainable societies.
Education does not have to be limited to the confines of a classroom; for students who are eager to learn, a good teacher is invaluable. According to UNESCO, “It is recognized that teachers are not only a means to implementing education goals; they are the key to sustainability and national capacity in achieving learning and creating societies based on knowledge, values and ethics.”
Autumn is here, which means the countdown for the Dana Foundation’s “Design a Brian Experiment” competition has officially begun. Have you started thinking about ideas to submit for the competition? Don’t worry if not—there’s still time!
If you are in high school and have an interest in science, this is a great opportunity to think creatively and come up with your very own proposed experiment. While the experiment should be well thought-out and thoroughly researched, it does not have to be completed.
“Allowing children to fail, to think they’re ‘dumb,’ is no longer acceptable,” said Dana Alliance member Sally Shaywitz at a recent Capitol Hill briefing on what neuroscience can tell us about educating special needs children.
Shaywitz, co-director of the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, joined fellow panelists Dana Alliance member Martha Denckla and Damien Fair for a discussion that addressed the importance and the difficulty of early detection of learning disorders such as dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As reported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS):
Despite some recent improvements, the chance that children or adults in America will get care for their mental illnesses is still critically low.
While around 42 million adults in the US have a mental illness each year, “less than 40 percent of all adults who have mental illness got any treatment at all last year,” said psychiatrist Nelson Freimer during a panel discussion on mental illness across the lifespan at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. Freimer, director of the UCLA Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics, also warns of “an epidemic of depression” among people just entering adulthood now, more than in previous generations.