FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: April 2014

Richard M. Jones
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White House Unveils Climate Data Initiative

The Administration announced plans for a Climate Data Initiative as a part of a series of actions which began with President Obama’s June launch of a Climate Action Plan. 

House Science Committee Members Share Common Concerns about FY 2015 NASA Request

While House Science Committee members probably will never agree about how much funding NASA should receive in the next fiscal year, there are common concerns that both Republicans and Democrats expressed about the FY 2015 budget request at a recent hearing.

House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Reorganize NOAA’s Weather Resources

The House of Representatives passed the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act.  Approved by voice vote, this bipartisan bill aligns the R&D activities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research with the National Weather Service

Coalition Calls for Increased Funding for Defense Science and Technology Programs

The Coalition for National Security Research, to which the American Institute of Physics and two of its Member Societies, the American Physical Society and The Optical Society, belong has issued a statement recommending increased funding for the Department of Defense’s science and technology programs.

Office of Science and Technology Policy Releases Report on Coordinating STEM Education Programs

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 called for a Federal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education 5-Year Strategic Plan. 

Senators Urged to Sign Letter Supporting $7.5 Billion Budget for NSF

Senators were given the opportunity  to sign a letter supporting a $7.5 billion budget for the National Science Foundation in FY 2015. 

On the Record: Representatives Signing Recent Letters Supporting NSF and DOE Office of Science

Representatives recently were asked to sign two letters to House appropriators in support of FY 2015 funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Science Foundation. 

House Natural Resources Committee Discusses Earthquake Science and Warnings

The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing to discuss advances in earthquake science to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaskan Quake, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake which is the second largest in recorded history. 

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Publishes Assessment Report

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a summary report for policymakers which outlines the findings in the fifth of a series of assessment reports.

A Good Day at House Science: Subcommittee Approves Bipartisan NASA Authorization Bill

In less than a half-hour the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved a bipartisan bill that would establish important policy for NASA. 

NASA Administrator Bolden Appears Before House Appropriators

A hearing of the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee on the FY 2015 NASA budget request and security practices lasted more than three hours.  Although the subcommittee is very supportive of NASA, the hearing was marked by disagreements between NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and the subcommittee members.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research to Remain in Arlington VA

“The evaluation is completed and it is staying put” said Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James in reply to a question at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  James had been asked about the possible relocation of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research from its current location in Arlington, VA to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.

House and Senate Hearings on Defense Science and Technology Programs

Senior Pentagon officials appeared before House and Senate Armed Services subcommittees to discuss the FY 2015 request for the science and technology programs of the Department of Defense.  There were few if any expressed differences between the subcommittee members.

House and Senate Appropriations Hearings on Commerce Department: NOAA and NIST

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker testified at separate hearings of the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittees. 

Senators Endorse $7.5 Billion Budget for NSF

Twenty-one senators signed a letter sent to the senior leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee endorsing a $7.5 billion budget for the National Science Foundation for FY 2015.

Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space Discusses Path to Mars

The Subcommittee on Science and Space of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing to discuss NASA’s exploration strategy, international cooperation in space and commercial space efforts as the U.S. prepares for an eventual human mission to Mars.

Rep. Bill Foster on BICEP2 Announcement

Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) addressed the House on the recent announcement from the BICEP2 team regarding cosmic inflation in the early universe.

Energy Secretary Moniz Appears Before House and Senate Appropriators

With one important exception, there was little discussion about the DOE Office of Science when Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz testified at two hearings of the House and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees. 

Foster Bill Supports the Development of Open Source STEM Education Materials

Representatives Bill Foster (D-IL), Charles Rangel (D-NY), and Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) have introduced H.R. 4455, the “Learning Opportunities With Creation of Open Source Textbooks (LOW COST) Act.” 

Hearing Underscores Problems at the National Nuclear Security Administration

“Unfortunately, the unmistakable conclusion of our fact-finding is that as implemented the NNSA experiment involving creation of a semi-autonomous organization has failed.”  So testified Norman Augustine about the National Nuclear Security Administration at a hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

National Science Board Takes Stand Against Science Committee NSF Legislation

The National Science Board released a statement criticizing key provisions in a House Science Committee bill that would reauthorize the National Science Foundation for the current year and FY 2015.

DOE Office of Science Seeks Comments on New Accelerator Stewardship Program

The DOE Office of High Energy Physics is establishing a cross-cutting program in Accelerator Stewardship and is requesting input on this initiative by May 19. 

House Appropriators Release First Information on FY 2015 NASA, NIST, NOAA, and NSF Funding Bill

The House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee met to consider and then vote on its FY 2015 appropriations bill.

House Science Committee Developments: NASA and NSF Authorization Bills

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee continues its work on authorization bills for NASA and the National Science Foundation.

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics