The National Science Foundation finally put up a web presence for its part in the BRAIN initiative. Announced a little over a year ago, the BRAIN initiative is a multi-agency program that is also a public-private partnership with various companies and foundations. The focus of the initiative is to develop tools and foundational knowledge for researchers to get a better picture of the activities in the brain.
Until recently the only federal agency involved with the initiative with a website on it was the National Institutes of Health. I have yet to find a similar portal for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), though there is this press release. But the National Science Foundation has finally opened a web presence for its part of the initiative (H/T SSTI). Arguably it’s website is the most public-facing of the three agencies, but the bar is set quite low in that regard.
What would be nice, but is not likely to come, is some government-wide site that provides a broad picture of the activities in this initiative. Each agency can speak effectively to its particular function within the larger project. But with three agencies dealing with $200 million (the President has asked for double that money for the next budget), and private entities also involved, looking at the NIH and NSF websites can’t help but present an incomplete picture of what’s going on. And that makes the promotion of this initiative, and of whatever results emerge from it, all the harder to explain – to funders and to the public.