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

8 Dec 2017

A new National Academies study warns the U.S. has lost leadership in high-intensity ultrafast laser research to Europe. To regain ground, it recommends the Department of Energy invest in at least one new large-scale facility and lead the development of a coordinated national research strategy.

7 Dec 2017

Barry Myers, the nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, went to great lengths at his confirmation hearing to assure senators he would respect and defend NOAA science as well as avoid any potential conflicts of interest arising from his connections to a weather company he co-founded.

5 Dec 2017

As the National Science Foundation seeks partners capable of operating the Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes with significantly reduced funding from NSF, several Appropriations Committee members are pledging to fight to ensure the facilities remain open, a few of whom argue the agency should maintain its current level of support.

30 Nov 2017

Following the 8 percent increase enacted for Defense Department S&T funding in fiscal year 2017, the Senate and House are respectively proposing 0.5 and 2 percent cuts for fiscal year 2018.

29 Nov 2017

The Senate spending bill for the U.S. Geological Survey would maintain overall funding at current levels, while the House bill would decrease it by 4 percent. The chambers diverge on whether to adopt the administration’s proposed restructuring of the Climate and Land Use Change mission area, but they both generally support maintaining funding for geophysical research and monitoring near current levels.

22 Nov 2017

A chorus of scientific societies and higher education associations has voiced deep concerns about provisions in the House’s tax reform bill that they argue could significantly increase the cost of graduate education. Higher education associations have also objected to several other provisions in the House bill and its Senate counterpart that they say could destabilize the finances of colleges and universities.

21 Nov 2017

Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that sets policy for the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The final version incorporated or adapted many of the R&D-related proposals from the original House and Senate versions of the bill.

17 Nov 2017

The House Science Committee has approved a package of bills that establish target funding profiles for eight Department of Energy research facility construction projects. The committee also approved four STEM education and research bills, one of which would require federal science agencies to annually report to the National Science Foundation information on the demographics of all R&D grant applicants.

17 Nov 2017

The National Science Foundation plans to create a Facilities Governance Board that will oversee the agency’s major research infrastructure projects at all stages of their lifecycle, from development through divestment.

16 Nov 2017

Republican committee leaders expressed hope that geoengineering technologies could someday address climate change. Democratic members were more cautious, supporting research but emphasizing it should not be viewed as a substitute for emissions reductions or other approaches for combating climate change.

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