Archive of FYI reports

FYI has delivered unbiased, authoritative reports on science policy since 1993.

1 Dec 2016

The House easily passed the bipartisan “21st Century Cures Act” yesterday. Among its numerous provisions, the bill allocates $4.8 billion over 10 years to the National Institutes of Health in support of the Obama administration’s Cancer Moonshot, BRAIN, and Precision Medicine Initiatives, and creates a Research Policy Board tasked with identifying means of reducing administrative burdens.

29 Nov 2016

At a Senate hearing, appropriations subcommittee leaders disagreed on the advisability of the federal government embarking on an effort to spur the development and deployment of new types of nuclear reactors.

28 Nov 2016

The National Nanotechnology Initiative has released the triennial update of its strategic plan. Among its new features, the plan now stresses the need to further develop the nanotechnology community’s collaboration “ecosystem” and to promote the development and sharing of data, computer models, and simulations.

28 Nov 2016

In a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, the CEOs of 29 national scientific societies are calling on Trump to quickly appoint a science advisor and draw on S&T expertise to address national challenges.

23 Nov 2016

In a June 2016 white paper, James Carafano, a Heritage Foundation analyst who is now a member of Trump’s transition team, made a series of science policy recommendations for the next U.S. president, including eliminating the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

22 Nov 2016

Today at a White House ceremony, President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Richard Garwin, a versatile physicist and longtime science adviser to the U.S. government.

18 Nov 2016

Congressional leaders have said that passage of a “21st Century Cures Act” is a top priority for the remainder of the current Congress. This bill could provide a multi-billion dollar funding boost to the National Institutes of Health outside of the regular appropriations process.

17 Nov 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to reverse Obama’s climate change actions and rescind the Iran nuclear agreement, but his positions on research funding are unknown.

15 Nov 2016

With Republicans winning one-party control of the federal government in last Tuesday’s election, the party now has more latitude to advance its priorities. Implications for science will begin to unfold in the “lame duck” session of Congress that opened yesterday.

14 Nov 2016

Over the coming months, President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team will be selecting dozens of personnel for science-related leadership positions in the federal government. These choices and the administration’s broader approach to government could have significant effects on the federal science workforce and science policy.

8 Nov 2016

The National Science Foundation estimates that U.S. R&D funding reached an all-time high of $499 billion in 2015. Of that total, the federally sponsored share fell to a record-low 23 percent while the business sector’s share rose to a record-high 69 percent.

3 Nov 2016

NSF is currently undertaking a formal process by which it will determine whether or not to divest from the Arecibo and Green Bank Observatories, with final decisions for each facility expected within the next year and a half.

3 Nov 2016

In an address last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter provided an update on the Defense Department’s efforts to facilitate work with innovation-centric companies and to strengthen relations with researchers and engineers who might otherwise not work on defense problems. These efforts are part of DOD’s Third Offset Strategy and its campaign to build a “Force of the Future.”

31 Oct 2016

The Department of Education released a report that outlines six focus areas that comprise an aspirational vision for U.S. STEM education over the next decade. Meanwhile, a national report card from the department shows science assessment scores for 4th and 8th graders are gradually improving while science achievement gaps between minority and non-minority students are narrowing.

27 Oct 2016

Last week, the White House announced a new initiative promoting public-private partnerships for the development and use of small satellites. The announcement comes as interest grows in using small satellites as platforms for scientific research.

26 Oct 2016

Following a spike in reports of sexual harassment in the sciences, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) has spent the year shining a spotlight on the issue in Congress.

20 Oct 2016

This week, Vice President Biden presented an implementation plan for the administration's Cancer Moonshot Initiative and advocated for a culture shift toward more team-oriented, interdisciplinary research that leverages shared datasets and draws on expertise from a broader range of federal agencies, including the Department of Energy.

19 Oct 2016

In a new executive order, President Obama has directed federal agencies and the White House to focus on national preparedness for space weather, calling it an “all-of-nation endeavor.”

18 Oct 2016

Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), Congress’s only physicist member, is leading a group of 38 House Democrats in asking the House Rules Committee to withdraw a recent rule change that permitted House committees to delegate their subpoena authority to their chairs. Among their objections, critics of this unilateral authority argue it is being used to harass scientific researchers.

14 Oct 2016

In a new report, the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the Materials Research Society recommend actions that the U.S. government and scientific societies should take to make researchers less vulnerable to liquid helium price increases, price volatility, and supply interruptions—all of which could be exacerbated by the impending closure of the Federal Helium Reserve. 

13 Oct 2016

On Oct. 5 and 6, a National Academies committee studying NASA’s large strategic science missions held a meeting at which NASA officials and current and former congressional staff members presented. Committee members and presenters confronted pressing questions concerning what role the missions play in accomplishing the agency’s science goals and in sustaining broader scientific communities.

7 Oct 2016

A report published by the U.N. Scientific Advisory Board on Sept. 18 finds a need for greater integration of science into international decision-making. It also calls on the U.N. to establish international targets for national R&D funding, which the board argues will contribute to meeting U.N. sustainable development goals. 

7 Oct 2016

Steve Binkley, currently head of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, will become the department’s deputy director for science programs this November. Patricia Dehmer is stepping down from that role on Nov. 10 after a long and distinguished career at DOE.

5 Oct 2016

Thomas Zurbuchen, a specialist in solar and heliospheric physics and a proponent of entrepreneurship, has been named the new head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

4 Oct 2016

At a House Science Committee hearing held last week, members expressed bipartisan support for the goal of reducing regulatory burdens experienced by federally funded university researchers. They asked witnesses to explain how actions such as the creation of a new Research Policy Board could help achieve that goal.

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