Last year, the Subcommittee on Investigations and  Oversight of the House Committee on Science and Technology held a hearing   on the severe shortage of helium-3, which is used in industrial, national  security, and non-proliferation applications, as well as research  equipment.

16 Dec 2011

The recent reentry of the  Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite into the Pacific Ocean has focused new  attention on the problems created by orbital debris.  Posing an occasional threat to  Earth, orbital debris, and meteoroids, are a  significant problem to NASA’s spacecraft. 

4 Oct 2011

Characterizing  the U.S. approach to the handling of nuclear waste as a “deeply flawed  program,” the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future has released a  draft report recommending fundamental changes in the nation’s management of  spent nuclear fuel.  The Commission is  accepting public comment on its 192-page report through October 31, 2011.

26 Aug 2011

Last  week the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met  to hear from experts about the future of research endeavors in the United  States. To open the meeting, PCAST  Co-Chair John Holdren noted that fiscal restraints created by the difficult  budget environment will make it harder to make the investments necessary in  science and technology to maintain American dominance in the fields.

21 Jul 2011

The  American Institute of Physics joined three of its Member Societies – the American  Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Physical  Society - in urging House appropriators to support the Obama Administration’s request  to resume production of Pu-238.  Pu-238  is used to fuel NASA’s deep space probes.   The Administration requested that appropriators provide both the  Department of Energy and NASA with $10 million in their FY 2012 funding bills  to support this production.  House  appropriators did not includ

5 Jul 2011

Before turning to 2010, a final look back to 2009 with selected quotations from FYI:

"We all know that in business or in science or in education, capital attracts talent. You have to have the labs. And talent attracts capital. And so we want to make very wise investments in this [economic stimulus] recovery package so it is about innovation." - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

8 Jan 2010

The following are selected highlights from FYI in 2009.  Note that the month refers to the FYI publication date; see the archive for individual issues.

6 Jan 2010

The  House has passed its version of the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice and Science  Appropriations Bill that provides funding for the National Institute of  Standards and Technology.  The Senate  Appropriations Committee has approved its version of this measure.

11 May 2012

Georgetown University’s  Center on Education and the Workforce recently released two reports addressing  the career and earning prospects of a variety of college majors.  The first report, “Hard  Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings,” addresses the question: is college worth it?  The second report “What  It’s Worth: The Economic Value of College Majors,” seeks to address the difference in potential  earnings between college majors.

30 Apr 2012

In  fulfillment of a provision in the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010,  the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has sent a report to  Congress detailing “progress toward the coordination of policies” “related to  the dissemination and     long-term  stewardship of the results of unclassified research, including digital data and  peer-reviewed scholarly publications, supported wholly or in part by funding  from the Federal science agencies.”

26 Apr 2012


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