FYI Archive

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. 

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