FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI THIS MONTH: November 2010

Richard M. Jones
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President Obama, Incoming Science Committee Chairman on S&T

In remarks following the November election, President Obama reiterated his support for making continued investments in technology, and identified STEM education “as potential common ground.”  The Ranking Member of the House Science and Technology Committee, Ralph Hall (R-TX) said he looked forward to advancing “an agenda that keeps our nation moving forward.”

Senate Urged to Pass COMPETES Legislation

Approximately 250 corporations, universities, associations and organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urging that the Senate pass its version of COMPETES in time to work with the House on a final version of this reauthorization bill.

Letter to House Appropriators Seeks Increased Funding for FY 2011 DOE Science Programs

A group of 108 corporations, universities and associations asked the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee “to find a way to provide the increased funding requested for DOE science programs.”  The Obama Administration requested an increase of 6.1 percent; the subcommittee recommended essentially flat funding. 

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chairs Cite R&D Funding, NASA, Defense RDT&E

The co-chairs of the National Commission charged with developing a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit called for protection of “key investments in infrastructure, education, R&D,” elimination of federal funding for commercial spaceflight and a 10 percent reduction in defense RDT&E funding. 

Associations and Universities Urge $7.4 Billion for NSF

More than 125 associations and universities endorsed a letter urging Congress to provide the Administration’s FY 2011 request for the National Science Foundation. 

NRC Report Reviews S&T Strategies of Six Countries

A report requested by the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency examines the S&T strategies of China, Singapore, India, Brazil, Japan and Russia and the implications of these countries’ actions on U.S. security and competitiveness. 

Independent Panel Reviews Webb Space Telescope

An independent team reviewing the James Webb Space Telescope concluded “the technical performance . . . has been commendable and often excellent,” but criticized the project’s management and budgeting.  A key Senate appropriator has expressed continuing concern about cost growth and schedule delays. 

Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee Urges Restart of Pu-238 Production

The Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee sent a letter to senior Administration officials and Members of Congress requested that funding be identified through cooperative coordination between DOE, NASA, and other federal agencies to enable Pu-238 production for use in deep space mission applications. 

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