Reports, reviews, and assessments

31 Dec 1997

JANUARY: NSF, NASA, and NIST (among other federal agencies) start
the year without assured long-term FY 1996 funding.  Fusion Energy
Advisory Committee submits program restructuring recommendations to

FEBRUARY:  Amidst standoff on current year funding, Clinton
Administration submits a "bare bones" FY 1997 budget request.
General Accounting Office report on Advanced Technology Program
does little to resolve controversy over utility of program.

25 Nov 1996

The largest and most comprehensive international study of pre-college math and
science education has begun to reveal some results.  On November 20, the
Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics released
"Pursuing Excellence: A Study of U.S. Eighth-Grade Mathematics and Science
Teaching, Learning, Curriculum, and Achievement in International Context."
This is the first analysis to come out of an intensive 1995 survey of the math
and science education of half a million students in 41 countries and across

28 Oct 1996

AIP's Education and Employment Statistics Division tracks, analyzes, and
reports on various aspects of physics training and employment opportunities.
Two reports were released last month, one inquiring whether physics
postdoctorates feel they are underemployed, and another looking at the
employment of people who received undergraduate education in physics and
terminated their education with a master's degree, either in physics or
another field.

27 Feb 1996

Since the Republican majority captured Congress, NIST's Advanced
Technology Program (ATP) has been subjected to the tugs of opposing
ideologies.  According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), the
program was established during the Bush Administration to "provide
support on a cost-sharing basis for industrial research and
development projects...that have a significant potential for
stimulating economic growth and improving the competitiveness of
U.S. industry."  But the new wave of Republicans, elected on

31 Dec 1998


31 Jan 1996

At its meeting in Washington on January 26 and 27, the Department
of Energy's Fusion Energy Advisory Committee (FEAC) presented its
recommendations for a revised fusion program to DOE's Director of
Energy Research, Martha Krebs.  After Congress cut the program's
budget by one-third over last year, DOE asked FEAC to restructure
the program to fit within lower funding levels.  The committee
responded by developing a new mission and goals for the fusion
program that would emphasize basic plasma and fusion science and

31 Jan 1996

As reported in FYI #13, the Department of Energy's Fusion Advisory
Committee reviewed three budget scenarios for fusion funding in
fiscal year 1997 and beyond.  The committee's recommendations for
a fusion energy program at annual budget levels of $250 million and
$275 million are presented, in full, below.  The committee also
examined the case of a budget significantly lower than $250
million, but found it would result in "a very painful conflict"
among program goals.

                               * * *

31 Jan 1996

Consistent with a cut of one-third in funding from last year,
Congress instructed the Department of Energy to restructure its
Fusion Energy program, assuming "a constant level of effort in the
base program for the next several years."  The FY 1995 fusion
energy budget was $357.2 million; the program received $244.1
million for FY 1996.  DOE asked its Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee (FEAC) to make recommendations "in light of congressional
guidance and budget realities."  FEAC presented its conclusions to

23 Jan 1996

"Clearly, this is a time of great challenge for science and
technology in America.  But, I believe we can seize this time as
one of opportunity to work together in ways we have never done
before, to raise our voices, together, to send out a clear and
coherent message.  This is not the time to plead for biology vs.
chemistry or astronomy vs. engineering, or even basic vs. applied
research or technology.  It's a time to speak out about the
importance of the Federal investment in science and technology, in


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