FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI THIS MONTH: FEBRUARY- 2009

Highlights of developments in Washington impacting the physics communbity from FYI, The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News

Richard M. Jones
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GAO Calls Space Shuttle an "Urgent Issue":

The General Accounting Office released a report identifying thirteen “urgent issues” for the next Administration. Among them was whether the Space Shuttle should be retired. (#12)

Economic Stimulus Bill:

Much of the activity on Capitol Hill during February was focused on a bill to stimulate immediate economic growth and to lay the foundation for a stronger American economy. The final bill contained very significant funding increases for the National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institutes of Health. (#13, 15, and 16) A bipartisan letter to the House leadership asked for science and technology programs to receive strong support as the bill moved to its final form. (#18)

New Basic Sciences Energy Report:

A subcommittee of the Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee called for “paradigm-changing breakthroughs: new ideas that ‘change the rules of the game’” in energy, climate change, and the nation’s economy. (#14)

FY 2009 Omnibus Funding Bill:

House and Senate appropriators came to an agreement on a massive funding bill that moved toward the conclusion of the FY 2009 budget cycle. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science would receive an 18.8 percent increase (#19), the National Science Foundation a 5.9 percent increase (#20), the National Institute of Science and Technology an 8.4 percent increase (#21), NASA an increase of 2.2 percent (#22), the U.S. Geological Survey a 3.7 percent increase (#23), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering an increase of 2.8 percent (#24). Funding for the Department of Education’s Math and Science Partnership did not increase. (#24)

FY 2010 Budget Overview:

The Obama Administration released a 142-page overview of its FY 2010 request. The full budget is expected in April. The outlook for science funding is positive, with the overview stating: “Investments in science and technology foster economic growth, create millions of high-tech, high-wage jobs that allow American workers to lead the global economy, improve the quality of life for all Americans, and strengthen our national security.” (#25)

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095