FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: March 2013

Richard M. Jones
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OSTP Issues Directive to Federal Agencies on Public Access

The Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a policy memorandum to the heads of federal executive departments and agencies describing the Obama Administration’s policy “to increase access to federally funded published research and digital scientific data.” 

Ernest Moniz Will be Nominated as New Secretary of Energy

President Obama announced his intention to nominate Ernest Moniz to be the next secretary of energy.  The President lauded Moniz for his work at the Department of Energy and MIT.

House Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on DOE Office of Science

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science “is one of our bill’s top priorities and always has been” said House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) at a hearing on the programs, plans and priorities of the Office of Science.

Impacts of Sequestration on Office of Science Programs

Office of Science Director William Brinkman’s testimony before the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee described the projected impacts of sequestration on six core science programs.

House Subcommittee Evaluates Environmental Progress and Priorities

The House Subcommittee on Environment held a hearing on “the State of the Environment: Evaluating Progress and Priorities” during which Members assessed broad environmental trends and indicators, explored what progress is still needed to protect human health and the environment, and considered how to achieve those advances.

Subcommittee on Space Reviews the Space Leadership Preservation Act

The House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Space held a hearing to review HR 823, the Space Leadership Preservation Act.

Letter Urges Prioritization of Spending for Science and Technology

The Optical Society and the American Institute of Physics were joined by 31 scientific associations and organizations in sending a letter to Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives urging the continued prioritization of federal funding for science and technology.

Congress Plans Broad Outlines of FY 2014 Budget

One of the first steps in the annual federal budget process is the preparation of an overall framework to guide later congressional action on appropriations, revenues, and entitlements.

House Subcommittee Reviews Access to Data

A House Research Subcommittee hearing on “scientific integrity and transparency” came less than two weeks after a memorandum was issued by the Office of Science and Technology Policy “to increase access to federally funded published research and digital scientific data.”

House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on High Skilled Immigration

The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing to investigate whether US policy blocks the path towards citizenship for immigrants with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Hearing Discusses Impacts of Travel Restrictions on Federal Scientists

Concerns about the impacts that travel restrictions are having on federal scientists were discussed at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, US Postal Service, and the Census. 

President Obama at Argonne: Research, Sequestration, Energy Trust Fund

President Obama visited Argonne National Laboratory to propose a trust fund to finance alternative energy transportation research on technologies such as advanced batteries, biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and natural gas fuel tanks.

Impact of Budget Cuts on NOAA and NIST Programs

In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank described the projected impacts of a $551 million mandatory reduction in the budget for the Department of Commerce this fiscal year.

Progress on Helium Legislation

The House Natural Resources Committee approved legislation that would significantly reform how one-half of the nation’s domestic helium supply is managed and sold.  Indicative of the committee’s recognition of the importance of helium was the unanimous vote to send this legislation to the full House.

Final Funding Legislation Approved for FY 2013

The House and Senate passed legislation to provide funding for the remainder of the fiscal year.  This legislation, known as a continuing resolution, has been sent to the White House.

Research Subcommittee Reviews Industrial and Non-Profit Philanthropic STEM Education Initiatives

The Research Subcommittee reviewed industrial and non-profit philanthropic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education initiatives at a hearing.  This hearing focused on the role that industry and non-profit philanthropic organizations play in making STEM careers attractive and accessible to students.

PCAST Hears Updates on Education, the State of Energy and Climate, and Forensic Science

PCAST held a meeting to review a report by the American Chemical Society’s Presidential Commission on Advancing Graduate Education in the Chemical Sciences, and a report focused on climate. They heard about a partnership between the Department of Justice and National Institute of Standards and Technology established to strengthen the role of forensic science in criminal investigations. Tom Luce, Chairman of the National Math and Science Initiative, also gave a presentation on best practices for implementing PCAST reports.

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics