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White House

FYI covers the administration’s budget requests, executive orders, and other physical science-related statements. FYI also covers many of the activities of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and National Science and Technology Council.

25 Jan 2012

In  last night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke of the  importance of science and technology and the role that the federal government  plays in the support of research.  It is  notable that previous State of the Union addresses by President Obama and President  George W. Bush commented on the need for strong federal funding for research  programs.  The following are selections  from their addresses:

President  Obama in 2012:

9 Jan 2012

Rep.  Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. David Price (D-NC) have sent a Dear Colleague to  other Members of the House asking them to sign a letter to Speaker of the House  John Boehner (R-OH) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding  H.R. 3433, the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011.  The letter asks that “troubling provisions be  addressed before the House acts on this bill.”

16 May 2014

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) held a May 9 meeting during which they discussed advanced manufacturing partnerships, systems engineering as it relates to healthcare and the implications of Chinese advancements in science, technology, and innovation. 

9 May 2014

A report outlining opportunities for investment and cooperation in applied optics and photonics research was prepared by the Fast-Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics (FTAC-OP) and presented to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Physical Sciences Subcommittee of the Committee on Science, National Science and Technology Council.  The report, “Building a Brighter Future with Optics and Photonics” is aimed at highlighting research and capability opportunities and describes a need for

1 Apr 2014

The Administration announced plans for a Climate Data Initiative on March 19 as a part of a series of actions which began with President Obama’s June launch of a Climate Action Plan.  The announcement comes as the Administration seeks to leverage climate data resources to support preparedness for climate events.  The Initiative is intended to strengthen resilience to climate change while increasing the accessibility of government climate data.  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) jointly introduced an Innova

26 Mar 2014

There was little that Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren and the Republican members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee agreed about at this morning’s two-hour hearing on the Administration’s FY 2015 S&T budget request.  Predictability, there was disagreement about climate change, the National Science Foundation’s grant-making process, and NASA’s programs.

5 Mar 2014

At yesterday’s afternoon briefing Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren explained when reviewing the FY 2015 budget request that science and technology “do better overall than might have been expected,” while acknowledging “we recognize this budget could be better.”  Tight spending limits written into law strictly limit the total amount of money available for all discretionary programs in FY 2015, including those for federal science and technology agencies.

5 Mar 2014

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology held a discussion on leveraging science and technology capabilities across the Department of Commerce during a portion of their January 31 meeting.   Patrick Gallagher, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce spoke about the Department of Comm

5 Mar 2014

Two sections of a January 31 meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) addressed the symptoms and causes of irreproducibility of scientific data.  William Press, PCAST Member and Professor of Computer Science and Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin opened the discussion noting that if scientific experiments are not reproducible, “it strikes at the very heart of what science does.”  Panelists described publication bias, little recognition of the value of negative research studies, lack of control groups and inappropriate st

11 Feb 2014

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) submitted a recent 9-page letter report to the President addressing the development of massive open online courses (MOOC) and the role of technology in education.   The development of information technology for use in higher education is of particular interest to PCAST and to the Administration as they seek to address the rise in higher education costs.