FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI THIS MONTH: MAY 2011

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 and Senate Authorizers Skeptical About Implementation of NASA Legislation

Senators and representatives charged that the Administration has disregarded key provisions of the NASA reauthorization act, and expressed doubt about its commitment to the full implementation of the law.

House Science Committee Lauds Potential of Nanotechnology

Committee Democrats and Republicans described the contributions of nanotechnology to job creation, and its potential to lead to the next industrial revolution.

Senate Appropriations Hearing on FY 2012 Request for National Nuclear Security Administration

Senators’ questions focused on securing nuclear materials, the manufacture of plutonium pits, and construction of multi-billion dollar facilities.

OSTP Director Testifies Before House Appropriators

A key appropriator declared that the Administration and Congress “are in broad agreement about the need for significant investments” in S&T in FY 2012. Other topics discussed during this hearing included China, U.S. leadership in S&T, STEM education, NASA, and rare earth elements.

House Appropriators Begin Drafting of FY 2012 Bills

Key appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over S&T and education programs will have less money to spend in FY 2012, with the exception of defense spending.

Bernanke on “Promoting Research and Development: The Government’s Role”

In a keynote address at a major economic forum, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Benjamin Bernanke highlighted the importance of government support for R&D, and in particular, basic research.

House Science Hearing Showcases Partisan Climate Debate

Republicans and Democrats had widely divergent views about human-caused climate change and the integrity of climate science at a hearing that featured a marketing professor, an economist, and an energy industry lawyer as witnesses. 

Letter Urges Support for DOE Office of Science

Sixty-one representatives signed a letter asking appropriators “to make strong and sustained funding for the DOE Office of Science one of your highest priorities in FY 2012.”

National Academy of Sciences Issues Report Calling for Action on Climate Change

A new report concludes “Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems.”

Good Hearing for Energy Secretary Chu before Senate Appropriators

Republican and Democratic appropriators expressed support for the DOE research, although they predicted “painful decisions” will be required about spending priorities.

Organizations Urge Congress to Make DOE Office of Science a Funding Priority

The American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society were two of the organizations signing a letter sent to the House of Representatives supporting the Office of Science.

Coalition Supports Administration’s Request for Defense S&T Programs

The Coalition for National Security Research, to which AIP and several of its Member Societies belong, urged full funding of the Pentagon’s FY 2012 request for defense S&T programs.

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