FYI Bulletin is a news service covering science policy developments in Washington, DC, with a focus on the physical sciences.

16 Feb 2018

The Trump administration has proposed decreasing the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s budget by 34 percent in fiscal year 2019, a steeper cut than it sought last year.

15 Feb 2018

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for NASA refocuses the agency on its exploration mission. Science funding would increase under the request, but NASA would cancel its flagship Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope and pare back its Earth Science portfolio. The Planetary Science Division would see a 22 percent budget increase and is slated to oversee a new Lunar Discovery and Exploration research program.

14 Feb 2018

Following last week’s budget deal that all but guarantees huge government spending increases over the next two years, the Trump administration made last-minute changes to its budget request for fiscal year 2019 that spare the Department of Energy Office of Science, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health from proposed cuts. But other science agencies and programs are again slated for double-digit cuts or elimination.

9 Feb 2018

In the second half of his first year in office, President Trump increased his pace in making nominations to science-related positions in the federal government. However, many Senate-confirmed positions still lack nominees and some nominees have faced difficulties with Senate confirmation, resulting in an unprecedented number of long-term vacancies.

8 Feb 2018

A recent Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing highlighted the central role the U.S. Geological Survey plays in natural hazards monitoring. Experts also endorsed several pending bills that would expand early detection and mapping capabilities for earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides.

7 Feb 2018

The Trump administration’s policy toward nuclear weapons development and use, articulated in its Nuclear Posture Review, declares the U.S. needs new “tailored” and “flexible” deterrent capabilities and a more “responsive” production infrastructure and technical workforce.

2 Feb 2018

At a Senate hearing held to review implementation of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, the directors of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well as several senators raised concerns about how rising international competition in R&D threatens U.S. economic competitiveness and leadership in innovation.

1 Feb 2018

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar and Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes appeared before the House Science Committee this week to discuss a recent realignment of their responsibilities as well as DOE’s R&D priorities, including its plans for nuclear fusion research.

31 Jan 2018

China’s strikingly rapid expansion of its STEM workforce has continued, according to the National Science Board’s latest Science and Engineering Indicators report.

26 Jan 2018

The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the nominations of Mike Griffin to be under secretary of defense for research and engineering and Will Roper to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. At their confirmation hearing, the nominees outlined the need for DOD to better exploit its R&D as it strives to field next-generation technologies.

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