FYI THIS MONTH: MAY 2006
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
MARBURGER SPEAKS: In a speech at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, and at a March hearing, Office of Science and Technology Director John Marburger spoke about priority-setting and funding of science, the American Competitiveness Initiative, and earmarking.

SUPPORT FOR OFFICE OF SCIENCE: In support of DOE's Office of Science, an April letter to Senate appropriations leaders carried the signatures of 70 senators. House appropriators voted to fully fund the requested increase for the Office, and, in report language, praised the request. The same report also included language critical of the Administration's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.

MIXED SUPPORT FOR NSF RESEARCH: At a May hearing, senators questioned the value of NSF's social and behavioral research, but in the House, 164 representatives wrote to key appropriators in support of strong funding for all of NSF.

FOCUS ON SCIENCE EDUCATION: A series of hearings and legislation indicate the interest on Capitol Hill in K-12 science and math education and its role in U.S. competitiveness. As the U.S. Physics Team came to town to train for the International Physics Olympiad and meet their Members of Congress, the latest national results on student performance in science showed little progress.

NRC ON NASA SCIENCE, PARTICLE PHYSICS: A National Research Council (NRC) panel raised concerns about the health of NASA's science programs, and a letter by several key Democratic representatives echoed some of those concerns. Another NRC committee has put forth its recommendations for the future of U.S. particle physics.

USGS APPROPRIATIONS: House appropriators voted to increase funding for USGS rather than cut its budget as proposed by the White House.

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION DISSEMINATION: Administration policies on the dissemination of scientific information have been challenged in several recent instances, with Members of Congress writing to Administration officials and calling for investigations.

VISAS AND EXPORT CONTROLS: Witnesses testified before a House committee that although the visa application process has been improved, students and other visitors still encounter obstacles. The Commerce Department has created a committee to develop recommendations on the control of sensitive technologies.