FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: May 2010

Richard M. Jones
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Highlights of developments in Washington impacting the physics community from FYI, the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of science policy news

White House Boosts Upcoming National Lab Day

First Lady Michelle Obama discussed the importance of science education as part of a White House effort to publicize the first National Lab Day on May 12, intended to connect scientists and engineers with local schools for hands-on learning experiences. (#52)

Science Committee Hearing Spotlights Shortage in Critical Isotope

Severe shortages of helium-3 are impacting the production of radiation detection devices, physics and medical imaging research, and oil and gas exploration. Witnesses testified about short- to long-term measures to mitigate what are expected to be continuing shortages of this isotope. (#53)

Scientists Take to Capitol Hill for Congressional Visits Day

More than 270 scientists, engineers, and educators convened on Capitol Hill for the 15th Annual Science-Engineering-Technology Congressional Visits Day on April 28 and 29. In remarks to the participants, Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI) discussed the importance of educating his colleagues about the importance of federal investments in science and technology. (#54)

House Consideration of COMPETES Bill

The first two times the House voted on the reauthorization of the America COMPETES bill it failed to win passage. (#55) House floor debate highlighted party differences about key provisions of the legislation. (#56) The impacts of this bill are wide-ranging, as shown in the lengthy report accompanying the legislation. (#57)

House Armed Services Committee on Basic Research, STEM Education, and STEM Workforce

A committee report accompanying the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act comments on the management of basic research at the Department of Defense, and the committee’s concerns about STEM education and the future STEM workforce. (#58)

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics