FYI Bulletin is a news service covering science policy developments in Washington, DC, with a focus on the physical sciences.

1 Feb 2018

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes appeared before the House Science Committee this week to discuss a recent realignment of their responsibilities as well as DOE’s R&D priorities, including its plans for nuclear fusion research.

31 Jan 2018

China’s strikingly rapid expansion of its STEM workforce has continued, according to the National Science Board’s latest Science and Engineering Indicators report.

26 Jan 2018

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the nominations of Mike Griffin to be under secretary of defense for research and engineering and Will Roper to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. At their confirmation hearing, the nominees outlined the need for DOD to better exploit its R&D as it strives to field next-generation technologies.

24 Jan 2018

Prior to retiring as director of the Defense Department’s Basic Research Office, Robin Staffin described the office’s role to FYI and reflected on a career spanning physics and policy.

23 Jan 2018

While the U.S. continues to lead in many science and engineering measures, including overall R&D spending, China is rapidly catching up with the U.S. in the rankings, according to the National Science Board’s latest Science and Engineering Indicators report.

19 Jan 2018

The second Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space, finalized in early January, calls on NASA's Earth Science Division to prioritize its missions based on a tiered program of target observations. It also provides recommendations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Geological Survey.

18 Jan 2018

At a recent House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, participants touched on a wide range of issues related to the Department of Energy, including R&D priorities and the management and structure of the national lab system. The committee framed the hearing as a prelude to potential DOE reform legislation.

11 Jan 2018

The U.S. scientific community will face challenges new and old in 2018 as the Trump administration and Congress continue to advance their agendas and install new leaders at federal agencies. The science agencies are facing extraordinary levels of budgetary and administrative uncertainty, while scientific community leaders are grappling with fundamental issues relating to the conduct of science and its value. Looking further out, the 2018 election could shake up the political and policy landscape once again.

9 Jan 2018

A new National Academies report warns that withdrawing from ITER, a mammoth international fusion project under construction in France, could jeopardize the U.S.’s pursuit of commercial fusion energy. The report also calls for a national strategic fusion plan to resolve issues that will not be addressed through ITER.

8 Jan 2018

This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is kicking off a series of hearings related to its ongoing efforts to reform the Department of Energy. The first hearing will focus on DOE’s primary mission areas and “opportunities to unleash the full potential of DOE’s scientific, engineering and technological capabilities.” The committee’s efforts will add to a growing set of changes, proposals, and discussions concerning how DOE structures, manages, and prioritizes its laboratory and other R&D activities.


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