Leslie Iversen , Ph.D., a neuropharma- cologist at the University of Oxford and a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI) — Iversen, along with DABI members Ed Kravitz and Zach Hall, were the first to
association “condemn discrimination and racism in all forms” and that much more needs to be done to increase diversity in medicine and cardiology, including the publication of viewpoints recommending alternate approaches. An apology for even more appalling past racism has been issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which repeatedly rejected Black physicians applying for membership starting in 1939 because, a member of the all-white executive board explained, “if they became members they would want to come eat with you at the table. You cannot hold them down.” To atone for past sins, the Academy’s board published a resolution apologizing for contributing to the racism that Black pediatricians had endured and stressed that Academy membership does not discriminate on the basis of race or multiple other categories. A key federal agency published its strategies for enhancing the diversity of neuroscience researchers. The agency will search for talent at every level, from high school on up, and will provide resources and guidance to help them succeed until they reach faculty positions. One key element is meaningful mentorship all along the way. A collateral benefit is that diversity would help scientists solve many of the tough questions within neuroscience, the article said. It pointed to research showing that teams from diverse backgrounds outperform homogeneous teams in addressing complex scientific problems because they bring different perspectives and more innovative ideas to bear on the problem. A positive development is that many universities and health care systems are launching efforts to diversify, including a particularly ambitious program established at Trinity College by Berger-Sweeney. Among multiple “action steps,” Trinity will (1) require all campus members and trustees to complete anti-racist and unconscious bias educational training this fall and (2) create six “special opportunity hires” (preferably at senior tenured positions) each year for the next three years to increase faculty diversity. The college also established a task force that will provide “key metrics” to monitor its progress toward its goals. That could show whether a vigorous campus-wide effort to eradicate racism and promote diversity can succeed when so many previous efforts have fallen short. Other institutions need to follow Trinity’s example. l Phil Boffey is former deputy editor of the New York Times Editorial Board and editorial page writer, primarily focusing on the impacts of science and health on society. He was also editor of Science Times and a member of two teams that won Pulitzer Prizes. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not imply endorsement by the Dana Foundation.
demonstrate that GABA was released from inhibitory nerve terminals. During his career, he headed the United Kingdom drug discovery unit for Merck and was a member of UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs Committee. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the British Association for Psychopharmacology in 2005. Masakazu Konishi , Ph.D., a
neuroethologist at Caltech and member of DABI, was a leader in the field of avian neuroethology— the neurobiological study of natural behavior — Konishi became
the Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology in 1980. Konishi’s autobiography, written for the Society for Neuroscience’s The History of Neuroscience , Volume 6, can be found here . Frederick Goodwin , M.D., world- DABI — The second edition of his 1990 seminal text, Manic Depressive Illness , was awarded the 2008 Best Medical Book Award from the American Medical Writers Association. He also headed the Alcohol Drug Abuse & Mental Health Administration and hosted the popular Infinite Mind weekly radio show on National Public Radio. Stephen Lieber , chairman of the Brain renowned psychiatrist, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, and a founding member of
and Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) and an advocate for mental health research — Lieber helped grow a modest philanthropic group known as the National Alliance for Research
on Schizophrenia & Depression (NARSAD) into today’s BBRF—the largest private supporter of psychiatric research grants in the country. His philanthropy helped create the Lieber Recovery and Rehabilitation Clinic for Psychotic Disorders and the Lieber Schizophrenia Clinic at Columbia University, as well as the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (affiliated with Johns Hopkins University) in Baltimore.
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