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

20 Dec 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently argued that the agency used a flawed process in 2009 when it determined that greenhouse gas emissions endanger the public. He also said he still hopes to scrutinize the underlying climate science through a “red team/blue team” review.

14 Dec 2017

A recent House Science Committee hearing on NASA’s in-development and future space telescopes probed the agency’s mission management practices and revealed substantial concerns that the James Webb Space Telescope may experience new schedule delays. NASA announced at the hearing it is planning an independent review of the mission’s pre-launch preparations.

12 Dec 2017

As part of its recently unveiled industrial strategy, the UK will invest an additional £7 billion ($9.3 billion) in R&D spending over the next five years as a step in a longer-term plan to nearly double the nation’s investment in R&D as a fraction of its GDP.

8 Dec 2017

A new National Academies study warns the U.S. has lost leadership in high-intensity ultrafast laser research to Europe. To regain ground, it recommends the Department of Energy invest in at least one new large-scale facility and lead the development of a coordinated national research strategy.

7 Dec 2017

Barry Myers, the nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, went to great lengths at his confirmation hearing to assure senators he would respect and defend NOAA science as well as avoid any potential conflicts of interest arising from his connections to a weather company he co-founded.

5 Dec 2017

As the National Science Foundation seeks partners capable of operating the Arecibo and Green Bank radio telescopes with significantly reduced funding from NSF, several Appropriations Committee members are pledging to fight to ensure the facilities remain open, a few of whom argue the agency should maintain its current level of support.

30 Nov 2017

Following the 8 percent increase enacted for Defense Department S&T funding in fiscal year 2017, the Senate and House are respectively proposing 0.5 and 2 percent cuts for fiscal year 2018.

29 Nov 2017

The Senate spending bill for the U.S. Geological Survey would maintain overall funding at current levels, while the House bill would decrease it by 4 percent. The chambers diverge on whether to adopt the administration’s proposed restructuring of the Climate and Land Use Change mission area, but they both generally support maintaining funding for geophysical research and monitoring near current levels.

22 Nov 2017

A chorus of scientific societies and higher education associations has voiced deep concerns about provisions in the House’s tax reform bill that they argue could significantly increase the cost of graduate education. Higher education associations have also objected to several other provisions in the House bill and its Senate counterpart that they say could destabilize the finances of colleges and universities.

21 Nov 2017

Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual bill that sets policy for the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The final version incorporated or adapted many of the R&D-related proposals from the original House and Senate versions of the bill.

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