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

22 Jun 2018

The White House has released a long-anticipated blueprint outlining over 80 recommendations for reforming, reorganizing, and streamlining the federal government. Among its proposals for science agencies, the plan calls for consolidating the Department of Energy’s applied R&D programs into a new “Office of Energy Innovation” and consolidating the adminsitration of “small” federal graduate research fellowship programs into the National Science Foundation.

20 Jun 2018

House and Senate appropriators are proposing 7 percent and 3 percent funding increases, respectively, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in fiscal year 2019. Within SMD, the House proposal would increase funding for Planetary Science by 24 percent, while the Senate proposal would increase funding for Astrophysics by 12 percent.

15 Jun 2018

In their fiscal year 2019 proposals, House and Senate appropriators reject the Trump administration’s proposed 4 percent cut to the National Science Foundation and instead plan to boost it by between 4 and 5 percent.

14 Jun 2018

A new National Academies report finds sexual harassment of women is pervasive in academia and is jeopardizing advances in gender equity in STEM fields. To address the issue, the report urges academic institutions to go beyond legal compliance and focus on changes in culture. 

13 Jun 2018

Under new screening measures implemented by the Trump administration on June 11, U.S. consular officials can restrict the duration of visas granted to Chinese citizens studying certain “sensitive” subjects to one year. Although the subjects in question have not been publicly identified, reports suggest they include fields such as advanced manufacturing, robotics, and aeronautics.

8 Jun 2018

In their fiscal year 2019 spending bills, House and Senate appropriators again reject the Trump administration’s proposal for deep cuts to the Department of Energy’s applied energy R&D programs, and they state their opposition to its policy of focusing support on “early-stage” research.

7 Jun 2018

The fiscal year 2019 spending bills for the National Nuclear Security Administration advanced by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reject the Trump administration’s deep proposed cuts to fusion research, accept its request to develop a new low-yield nuclear weapon, and split on whether to continue construction of a plutonium conversion facility that it wants to terminate.

6 Jun 2018

A new American Physical Society survey finds the number of international students applying to U.S. physics Ph.D. programs fell by an average of 12 percent from 2017 to 2018.

1 Jun 2018

Since his confirmation as NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine has expressed broad support for the agency’s scientific culture and missions, and has said his views on climate change now align with the scientific consensus. He also has advocated new approaches to designing missions to manage costs and increase nimbleness.

31 May 2018

Draft spending bills released by House and Senate appropriators would increase funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science by 5 and 6 percent, respectively, bringing its budget past the $6.6 billion mark. There is general agreement between the chambers that major research facility construction projects should move ahead as fast as possible.

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