FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: June 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

House Passes Reauthorization of America COMPETES Bill

The House of Representatives passed a three-year reauthorization of the America COMPETES Bill. Among other provisions, the bill keeps the budgets of the National Science Foundation, DOE Office of Science, and the laboratory program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology on a doubling track. (#59)

Meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

The May 21 meeting heard presentations on advanced manufacturing, biodiversity, influenza vaccinology, the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy, health information technology, and STEM education. (#60)

Administration’s National Security Strategy

The 60-page “National Security Strategy” released in late May highlights the importance of science and technology, and STEM education. (#61)

Senate Rejects Joint Resolution on Greenhouse Gases

The Senate rejected by a vote of 47 yes to 53 no votes a joint resolution to invalidate the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific findings on the danger and harmful effects of greenhouse gases. (#62) (#64)

Congressional Reaction to Administration’s New Space Policy

“It clearly was time to press the reset button” Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren told a Senate committee when describing the Administration’s proposed space policy. Most members at this and a House hearing were skeptical about the use of commercial flight services to the space station. (#63) The outlook for the policy improved when Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) sent a letter to Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) describing a proposed NASA reauthorization bill that follows key elements of the Administration’s plan. (#65) Sixty-two Democratic and Republican representatives sent a letter to President Obama that suggests a willingness to compromise on the new policy. (#67)

Administration’s Nuclear Energy Strategy

Members of the House Science and Technology Committee and witnesses responded favorably to a 60-page “Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap” at a hearing reviewing the Administration’s proposals. (#66)

New National Science Foundation Director

President Obama nominated Subra Suresh to be the next director of the National Science Foundation. Suresh is the Dean of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (#67)

JASON Report on “S&T for National Security”

A JASON report concluded that important aspects of the Department of Defense basic research programs are “broken” and will require more than additional funding or simple changes in procedures and definitions to fix them. (#68)

Obama Administration Releases “National Space Policy”

The fourteen-page “National Space Policy of the United States of America” expresses the President’s direction for the Nation’s space activities, and encompasses many more topics than the proposed use of commercial flight services to the International Space Station. (#69)

House Appropriations Bill for NSF, NASA, NIST

A House appropriations subcommittee approved its version of the FY 2011 funding bill that fully funded the Administration’s requests for NSF and NASA, but reduced the requested increase for NIST. It did not take a position on the Administration’s proposed space policy. (#70)

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