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Neuroscience 2043 Contest

The future of neuroscience contest

Sample Entries:

Mouse-O-Matic Figure

Woman standing in front of a vending machine with different types of mice in it.

Cognitive Disorders Prediction

I believe that by 2043, neuroscience will have made key breakthroughs in the origins of cognitive disorders. This will come about not just from ongoing progress in current strategies and models, but from new uses of artificial intelligence that build and interpret more complete models which link mechanistically widespread datasets, including genetic and environmental effects on cellular function, circuit-level disruptions from early life events, and outcome behaviors in animals and humans. With these breakthroughs, new therapies will be starting to come online and the motivation from both the public and the government to understand and control brain function will reach an all-time high. 


US Funding Landscape Prediction

I would like to make a somewhat pessimistic prediction about what the US funding landscape for the biomedical sciences will look like in twenty years. My guess is that the NIH will basically be shut down as a research sponsoring organization. This is most likely to happen after another pandemic scare and because a foreign war seems perpetually imminent even though hostilities will hopefully not have started. Pseudo-populist lawmakers feeding on these fears will demand on and succeed in turning the government into a conservative protectionist institution, gutting services they don't like, including NIH and NSF. U.S. federal funding for biomedical research will be drastically reduced and probably largely diverted to the military. The progress of international research will thus be irrevocably slowed, especially with copycat nationalists in Europe hastening the collapse. However, given the popularity, importance, and benefits of research, a global network of new and larger foundations will emerge, dedicated not only to funding basic science and life-saving research, but also to take the lead on science education worldwide. This rapid diversification of funding sources and goals will ultimately have a profound and positive impact on scientific discovery. The exchange of knowledge and practices with cultures far removed from Western science will produce the greatest leap in international pure scientific innovation the world has ever known.

2043 Nature Methods Method of the Year
2043 Nature Methods Method of the Year: Real-time spatial transcriptomics in the awake behaving mouse.