FYI THIS MONTH: NOVEMBER 2003

HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS

Richard M. Jones, Audrey T. Leath

To read the cited FYIs, see the FYI archive at: /fyi/2003

DOE OFFICE OF SCIENCE: November was a busy month for the Office of Science. During a Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee meeting, a senior DOE official commented on the grim outlook for FY 2005 discretionary spending (FYI #141). Congress passed a FY 2004 appropriations bill providing an increase of about 5.8% in the budget for the Office of Science (FYI #146). Energy Secretary Abraham released a much-anticipated 20-year plan for new science facilities that received noteworthy support (FYI #148 and #150). At a Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee meeting, a senior DOE official discussed positive news for the fusion program and ITER (FYI #155).

MATH AND SCIENCE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS: Witnesses at a House hearing gave this relatively new program positive reviews. Meaningful changes have already occurred at partnering institutions. A second round of awards by made by NSF in October (FYI #142).

NASA FUTURE: Several oversight hearings were held with much attention devoted to the space shuttle and International Space Station. New safety concerns have been raised about the station crew. Regarding the return of the shuttle, NASA Administrator O Keefe assured senators "the calendar is not going to drive this" (FYI #143).

CONGRESSIONAL FELLOWS PROGRAMS: AIP and the American Physical Society are two of many professional science organizations sponsoring congressional fellows. The application deadline for the AIP and APS programs is January 15 (FYI #144).

NUCLEAR WEAPONS INITIATIVES: Congress provided at least some of the funding requested by the Administration for the development of new types of nuclear weapons and to reduce test readiness time at the Nevada test site (FYI #147).

CLIMATE CHANGE HEARING: Saying that the White House's climate change mitigation technology plan is "still at the starting line," a House Science subcommittee chair convened a hearing to examine the merits of the Administration's near- and long-term technology investments (FYI #149). Earlier, the Senate voted against legislation that would have required a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of the legislation were heartened by the relatively strong showing there was for emission controls, and vow to continue this drive in the next session of Congress (FYI #152).

DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL: President Bush signed into law the FY 2004 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation expresses both praise and concern about the current and future level of spending for defense science and technology programs (FYI #154).

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