FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: September 2012

Richard M. Jones
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Presidential Candidates Respond to Science Questions

The views of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on fourteen major scientific issues were released by Science Debate 2012.   The responses provide the candidates’ views on innovation policy, climate change, research funding, education, energy, space, critical natural resources, biosecurity, food, fresh water, the Internet, ocean health, vaccination and public health, and the utilization of science in formulation of public policy. 

White House Announces Plans to Create a National Science, Math, Technology, and Engineering Master Teacher Corps

The Obama Administration announced the President’s plan for the creation of a national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps. 

AIP State Department Fellowship

The American Institute of Physics is now seeking applicants for its 2013-2014 State Department Science Fellowship. The application deadline is November 1.  AIP’s Fellowship program, the first of its kind, was established in 2001 to help enhance the scientific and technical capabilities of the State Department.   AIP receives an annual contribution from the American Astronomical Society to help support this Fellowship.

New Report on Optics and Photonics

A National Research Council committee released a major report, “Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation.”  This new report provides a comprehensive overview of developments in optical science, describes five grand challenges, and outlines a roadmap to achieve U.S. global leadership in optical science and its applied technologies.

Report on Challenges and Opportunities Facing Nuclear Energy

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Nuclear Initiative issued a white paper entitled “Maintaining US Leadership in Global Nuclear Energy Markets.”  The 30-page report defines nuclear industry strengths and challenges in addition to outlining strategic goals for maintaining US leadership in global nuclear energy markets.

Decadal Report on Solar and Space Physics

The National Academy of Sciences released a report, “Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society,” outlining priorities for the coming decade in solar and space physics.  This report is the second National Research Council decadal survey in heliophysics.

OMB Releases Report on Automatic Budget Cuts

“The report leaves no question that the sequestration would be deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government functions.”  So warns a much-anticipated report released by the Office of Management and Budget.  While estimating the projected size of automatic reductions in FY 2013 funding for 1,200 federal budget accounts that would occur on January 2, 2013, the 394-page report provides no information about the impact of these cuts.

Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Examines NASA's Development of the Space Launch System and Orion Crew Capsule

The Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing to examine “on-going development of the Space Launch System, the Orion capsule and related systems, as well as [to] discuss how these technologies can be used for future scientific missions.”

FY 2013 Senate Appropriations Bill for USGS

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Senate Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member jointly released the starting point for their FY 2013 funding bill. 

House Science Committee Discusses Developments in NASA's Commercial Crew Acquisition Strategy

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing to review NASA’s rationale to award $1.113 billion to three companies to develop competing concepts for a human space transportation launch system. 

President Signs Bill Extending Federal Funding for Six Months

Continued operations of the federal government are assured with the signature of President Barack Obama on a bill passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress that largely maintains current funding levels through March 27, 2013.  

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics