As we look ahead to legislative issues in 2014, there are several that the physics community will be following closely. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education has been at the forefront of many of this Administration’s initiatives. An emphasis on training STEM educators will continue as they seek to promote the development of a STEM Master Teacher Corps. Access to quality education and affordability of undergraduate education, whether at two- or four-year institutions, is also being discussed on the Hill and in the White House. Debates about policies regarding research and development funding will continue in the House and Senate committees as they continue moving forward on issues including the reauthorization of NASA and the America COMPETES Act.
Focus on the role of advanced manufacturing as a means for improving the economy is also likely to be a theme continued throughout the coming year. Another topic that will be debated is high-skilled immigration reform. How will Congress direct funding for grants leading to innovation, what programs will be developed to improve access to higher education, and what will be done about the job vacancies that still exist in the manufacturing sector? These and other issues will be discussed by policy makers, some of whom are heading into an election year. AIP and its Member Societies will continue to promote effective decision making that benefits the whole community.