FYI Archive

21 Sep 2017

During floor debate on the House’s omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2018, Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chair John Culberson (R-TX) supported a successful amendment by Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) to shift $30.2 million to physical and biological sciences research at the National Science Foundation from other agency activities. Although a small amount, Culberson’s support for the amendment indicates he is sympathetic to Smith’s broader push to prioritize the physical sciences.

19 Sep 2017

On Sept. 12, President Trump nominated Walter Copan to be director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. FYI spoke with Copan, a scientist who has dedicated much of his career to facilitating technology transfer between the public and private sectors, about why he is interested in the role and his initial vision for the agency.

15 Sep 2017

At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee hearing this week on the Department of Energy’s national labs, committee members praised the labs’ technology development and commercialization activities. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) also announced his introduction of a bipartisan bill authorizing a DOE initiative for funding technology maturation projects.

14 Sep 2017

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are mostly aligned in defending federal programs that support STEM education from deep cuts proposed by the Trump administration for fiscal year 2018.

11 Sep 2017

After President Trump backed a Democratic proposal for a three-month extension of federal agency spending and the debt ceiling, Republican leaders quickly acceded. The law includes a key provision prohibiting the National Institutes of Health from altering research overhead reimbursements.

8 Sep 2017

The Senate appropriations bill for the National Institutes of Health would raise the agency’s $34.1 billion budget by 6 percent, while the House bill would raise it by a more modest 3 percent. In addition to their stark rejection of President Trump’s requested 22 percent budget cut, both bills explicitly reject the administration’s proposal to cap research overhead costs at 10 percent.

7 Sep 2017

President Trump has nominated Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be NASA administrator. The former Navy aviator and three-term congressman has recently promoted an ambitious vision for space policy reform that would shift NASA’s focus away from scientific research in favor of human space exploration and the development of space-based infrastructure.

5 Sep 2017

According to a new report, the Department of Energy’s program to develop advanced nuclear reactors has shifted priorities too often and overspent on facility upkeep. After $2 billion in expenditures, no advanced design is ready for deployment.

29 Aug 2017

A new National Academies report details the role that NASA’s large strategic missions play in the agency’s science portfolio. It recommends that decadal surveys better address the choices NASA faces in planning the missions and that NASA provide more public information about the missions' costs, management, and outputs.

25 Aug 2017

Most of the draft education plans that states have so far submitted for review to the U.S. Department of Education include STEM-related school performance indicators. A number propose new, federally supported STEM programs and initiatives,but the availability of funds for such activities hinges on the outcome of negotiations over funding levels for relevant DOEd grant programs.

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