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

21 Mar 2018

At a House Science Committee hearing dedicated to the national laboratories, committee members probed the role the labs play in developing and commercializing technologies. Members also announced two bills directing DOE to conduct demonstration projects in nuclear energy and energy storage, respectively.

20 Mar 2018

National Science Foundation leaders presented their plan for breaking down the agency’s disciplinary stovepipes at a House hearing on its budget request for fiscal year 2019. The chairwoman of the National Science Board also warned that China could soon surpass the U.S. as the world’s S&T leader if current trends continue.

19 Mar 2018

The president’s budget request for fiscal year 2019 would cut the Department of Energy’s applied energy programs significantly, including a 67 percent cut to the $2 billion Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Other offices would receive lesser but still dramatic decreases in funding.

16 Mar 2018

A chorus of concern has emerged in Congress about China’s allegedly pervasive exploitation of the U.S.’s intellectual property and open research environment, with some lawmakers seeking to overhaul foreign investment and export control systems. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is preparing a package of unilateral retaliation measures that reportedly could include visa restrictions on Chinese students and academics.

14 Mar 2018

NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot testified before the House Science Committee that the agency is looking into alternate ways to obtain the astrophysics data the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope mission would have provided. However, he has since emphasized that the mission cancellation is only a proposal.

13 Mar 2018

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for the Department of Education prioritizes certain STEM education programs, while again proposing deep cuts to the department’s primary grant programs, which support STEM education at state and district levels. The administration would also mostly cut or maintain budgets for other STEM education programs across the federal government.

9 Mar 2018

A House Science Committee hearing this week showcased committee members’ ongoing support for fusion energy research and U.S. participation in the France-based ITER project currently under construction. The committee also discussed the consequences of proposed cuts to the budget for inertial confinement fusion research.

7 Mar 2018

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget would rise by about $2 billion under the Trump administration’s proposal for fiscal year 2019. Most weapons-related R&D programs would benefit from the funding influx, with the notable exception of Inertial Confinement Fusion, which the administration seeks to cut by 20 percent.

6 Mar 2018

At a recent House Science Committee hearing, members were united in calling for changes necessary to ensure institutions of research and higher education are free of sexual harassment. Witnesses on an all-woman panel called for changes within a culture they say remains permissive of harassment and other misconduct.

2 Mar 2018

The National Science Foundation budget is held essentially flat in the fiscal year 2019 request, but beneath the topline numbers are significant changes, including a new cross-disciplinary funding model to support the foundation’s 10 Big Ideas.

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