Archive of FYI reports

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

29 Oct 2015

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to consider six of President Obama’s nominees for leadership positions at the Department of Energy and Department of Interior, including Cherry Murray to be Director of the DOE Office of Science.

23 Oct 2015

Senators Cory Gardner and Gary Peters, in charge of drafting the Senate version of the America COMPETES bill, are seeking further input from the science community on STEM education/workforce issues and research commercialization and technology transfer,

 
22 Oct 2015

During a House Science Committee meeting to discuss a bill to require the NSF to certify all awards as being in the national interest, committee members expressed significant differences in opinion regarding the process and criteria the government should use in deciding what research it funds.

 
15 Oct 2015

A note to readers:  I will be retiring from the American Institute of Physics tomorrow.  Michael Henry will continue to write FYI.  I appreciate all of the support that AIP and FYI’s readers have provided during the last 26 years. – Richard Jones

A recurring theme of congressional hearings on NASA is the difficulty posed by constrained and uncertain budgets on the development of new programs.  This point was reiterated during an October 9 hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space.

 
14 Oct 2015

The science and academic communities have expressed concerns about restrictions put in place in recent years on federal scientists attending conferences and the increase in regulations regarding academic research, as they affect the conduct of research and development. Two recent developments are of note:

Conference Travel Restrictions on Federal Scientists:

 
13 Oct 2015

“The development of commercial technologies to produce Mo-99 without the use of HEU [Highly Enriched Uranium] will ensure that patients have access to the care they need while advancing global nuclear nonproliferation objectives,” explained Anne Harrington, National Nuclear Security Administration Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.  Harrington was commenting on a September 30 award of a cooperative agreement to General Atomics for the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).

9 Oct 2015

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the longest-serving member of President Obama’s Cabinet, announced on October 2 that he will resign in December, clearing the path for new leadership for the cabinet-level department.

 
8 Oct 2015

President Obama yesterday signed into law the STEM Education Act of 2015.

 
8 Oct 2015

Earlier today the Senate blocked itself from considering the FY 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.  A motion to proceed with the bill’s consideration on the Senate floor that required 60 votes failed by a vote of 49 yes to 47 no votes.  Votes in favor were all cast by Republicans, with one exception; four Republicans joined Democratic senators voting against proceeding on the bill.

 
8 Oct 2015

“A most enjoyable hearing” was how House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) characterized a hearing titled “Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth in the Next Decade.”  Smith was not alone, with another committee member saying that the testimony of the four witnesses had “really been wonderful.”

 
6 Oct 2015

Rush Holt, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former U.S. Representative, spoke during an interview about the state of science in the U.S., how to communicate science to the public and policymakers, and how scientists and others can engage effectively with policymakers to be better advocates for science.

 
1 Oct 2015

Following countless hours spent by the Obama Administration preparing the FY 2016 budget request and numerous House and Senate appropriations hearings and floor votes leading up to today’s start of the new fiscal year, the outcome - at least to this point – is a continuation of current funding levels for federal departments and agencies through mid-December.

 
29 Sep 2015

With the approaching meeting in Paris of the Conference of Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the U.S. and China announced on Friday substantial bilateral progress in their nations’ growing cooperation to address global climate change.

 
25 Sep 2015

Two subcommittees of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology jointly held a hearing on September 10 to examine vulnerabilities in and threats to the nation’s electric grid. While some of the threats discussed, such as cybersecurity attacks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, and physical attacks, are manmade, much of the exchange between the members and witnesses focused on the natural threat of space weather caused by solar flares.

 
18 Sep 2015

"The QTR makes clear that we have the technological know-how and innovative spirit to move to a low-carbon economy.  It’s up to us to carry these opportunities through and make them a reality” said Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren last week when releasing the 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review.

 
14 Sep 2015

If you are a scientist interested in the intersection of science, policy and international affairs, AIP encourages you to apply for an AIP State Department fellowship.  The application deadline for the 2016-17 term is November 1, 2015.

 
11 Sep 2015

In response to several bills that have been introduced this year to reduce funding for or otherwise restrict the growth of the Earth and related sciences, a group of science organizations are uniting behind a community response that highlights the broad societal benefits of the geosciences.

 
10 Sep 2015

"Antarctic science has global consequences.”  -- Committee on the Development of a Strategic Vision for the U.S. Antarctic Program

 
8 Sep 2015

Congress returned to Washington today from its summer recess with few legislative days left to enact a bill to provide federal funding for the new fiscal year that starts on October 1.  Congressional leaders continue to stress that there will not be a shutdown of the government, despite efforts by some in Congress to link passage of such a bill to the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

 
4 Sep 2015

A committee of the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences recently completed a review of the four most recent decadal surveys in the space sciences. The committee's draft report praises the virtues of decadal surveys but also identifies lessons learned and best practices moving forward.

 
4 Sep 2015

“We know that human activity is changing the climate.  That is beyond dispute.  Everything else is politics if people are denying the facts of climate change.   We can have a legitimate debate about how we are going to address this problem; we cannot deny the science.  We also know the devastating consequences if the current trend lines continue.  That is not deniable.” – President Barack Obama

 
1 Sep 2015

On July 30, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved, by a bipartisan vote of 18 to 4, omnibus energy policy legislation that contains a number of sections relating to science.

 
1 Sep 2015

In a 3,400 word speech yesterday at the University of Colorado Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz outlined the role his department played in negotiations with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The speech reiterated points Moniz made on Capitol Hill following the announcement of the Agreement. When Congress returns next week the House and Senate will consider legislation disapproving the Agreement. President Obama will veto this legislation; it is uncertain if there will be enough votes to override this veto in the Senate.

 
26 Aug 2015

Before Congress left for its summer recess, House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced a bill that, according to a committee statement, “holds NSF accountable for how taxpayer dollars are spent.”

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