HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS
To read the cited FYIs, see the FYI archive at:http://www.aip.org/fyi/2008/
FY 2008 APPROPRIATIONS OUTCOME: There was widespread criticism of the FY 2008 funding bill for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and the research programs of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Private organizations and Members of Congress voiced their disapproval, while the House leadership moved to reassure the science community (#1).
ITER: News that the final budget bill zeroed out funding for ITER was unexpected, since earlier versions of the appropriations bills had provided the Administration's full request for the experimental fusion reactor. The Department of Energy said it was "reviewing the budget situation and its implications" (#2). Leaders in the U.S. fusion community sought to have funding provided for continued participation in the international project (#4).
FY 2008 NASA, USGS, NIBIB, AND STEM K-12 FUNDING: NASA received a 5.2 percent increase for FY 2008 in a budget that heavily focuses on manned space flight (#5). The USGS received a 1.9 percent increase (#6), while the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering's budget increased by 0.6 percent (#7). The Department of Education's Math and Science Partnership's budget was cut by 1.8 percent (#7).
FY 2008 NUCLEAR ENERGY PROGRAM FUNDING: Significant changes were made in the Administration's request for various Department of Energy nuclear energy programs (#8).
FY 2008 DOE OFFICE OF SCIENCE PROGRAMS: Many programs funded by the Office of Science will see considerable changes this year, with staffing layoffs and the cancellation or reduction of research at many of its facilities (#9). Energy Under Secretary Ray Orbach warned a scientific association that "we are now at a perilous moment in the history of funding for science in the United States "(#16).
NASA ADMINISTRATOR'S REMARKS: Michael Griffin had both positive and negative news in his remarks to the American Astronomical Society, saying "we are one of many constituencies" (#10).
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING INDICATORS: The National Science Board released its "Indicators" report for 2008 (#11), as well as a companion policy document calling on the Federal Government to enhance its level of basic research funding (#12).
AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS INITIATIVE: President Bush signaled his continued support for a doubling of federal support for basic research in the physical sciences in his State of the Union address (#13).
CLIMATE CHANGE: The American Geophysical Union released a statement on climate change stating "Earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming" (#14). OSTP Director John Marburger offered his perspective on climate change, energy, and government policy (#15).