FYI THIS MONTH: SEPTEMBER 2005
HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS
Audrey T. Leath, Richard M. Jones
fyithismonth@aip.org
NUCLEAR SCIENCE COMMITTEE: Discussion at a DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee meeting revolved around the budget outlook for DOE and NSF science programs, the Energy Policy Act, cancellation of one project and site selection for another.

AIP STATE DEPARTMENT FELLOWSHIP: Are you interested in the nexus between science and foreign policy? AIP is seeking applicants for its 2006-7 State Department Science Fellowship. See http://www.aip.org/gov/sdf.html for information on the program and how to apply by the November 1, 2005 deadline.

KATRINA RESPONSE: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, DOE's Office of Science established a program that enables current grant recipients to temporarily host students and faculty researchers displaced by the disaster.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN: Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) recently wrote that "A scientifically literate nation would not permit intelligent design to be presented and treated as a scientific theory," while an American Astronomical Society statement declares that "'Intelligent Design' fails to meet the basic definition of a scientific idea."

FY06 BUDGET PROCESS: FY06 started on October 1, but time constraints, political conflicts, and the hurricane devastation contributed to uncertainty about the final outcome of the FY06 appropriations process, although a continuing resolution passed at the last minute avoided a government shutdown. Currently, only two appropriations bills have been signed into law; with the exception of the Interior bill that funds the U.S. Geological Survey, none of the bills funding physical or astronomical sciences or K-12 math and science education have been passed.

STUDENT, R&D DATA: Two recent reports show that visa difficulties experienced by foreign physics graduate students have lessened since 2002, and that application and enrollment numbers for U.S. citizens in science and engineering graduate programs appear to be heading upward. Several other reports by NSF examine various aspects of the R&D enterprise.

NIST ATP PROGRAM: In its version of the FY06 Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill, the Senate voted more than two-to-one to save NIST's Advanced Technology Program. However, the White House Office of Management and Budget objected to this move in a letter to key Senate appropriators that outlined areas of agreement and disagreement with the legislation.

R&D FUNDING, NASA, CLIMATE CHANGE: The Chief of Staff for the House Science Committee, David Goldston, shared his views on funding for R&D and fusion in particular, NASA's plans, and climate change legislation. Less than a week later, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin described the agency's plan for sending humans back to the Moon and on to Mars, and a key Senator stated at a climate change hearing that "I believe that it is prudent to heed the warnings we are hearing."