FYI Archive

4 Oct 2017

Last week, five representatives from the scientific community testified at a House Science Committee hearing on the August total eclipse, discussing eclipse-enabled research opportunities, future capabilities in heliophysics, and solar weather research and preparedness. They also spoke about the expansive public engagement efforts associated with the event.

4 Oct 2017

On Sept. 25, President Trump directed the Department of Education to annually commit at least $200 million of existing grant funds to activities that expand access to STEM and computer science education. The order makes clear that STEM education is an administration priority, although it contrasts with Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2018, which called for the elimination of several DOEd programs that support STEM education.

2 Oct 2017

Science agencies have stable funding as they begin fiscal year 2018 under a continuing resolution. However, their long-term outlook is less clear, as they wait for annual appropriations to be finalized and prepare for the fiscal year 2019 budget request. The deadline has just passed for them to submit “agency reform plans” detailing workforce and program cuts to be implemented over the next several years.

28 Sep 2017

The nominees for National Institute of Standards and Technology director and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deputy director received bipartisan praise and encountered no opposition during their Sept. 27 confirmation hearing. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee plans an Oct. 4 vote to advance them to the full Senate for consideration.

28 Sep 2017

The National Academies committee tasked with exploring how to move toward an open science enterprise held a symposium on Sept. 18 where a range of stakeholders discussed how to expand open access to scholarly publications, improve standards and best practices for sharing data, and better manage data repositories.

26 Sep 2017

Last week, representatives of the U.S. and U.K. governments signed the first-ever umbrella agreement on science and technology between the two nations. The first major project supported under the agreement is the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility / Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment project at Fermilab.

22 Sep 2017

The Senate passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18, sending the bill to conference committee. House and Senate conferees now must come to an agreement on a vast library of provisions, including many concerning R&D policy.

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.

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