The Week of November 21, 2022


FYI This Week highlights upcoming science policy events and summarizes news from the past week.

The Week of November 21, 2022

  • Artemis Mission Reaches Lunar Space
  • Energy Technology Nominees Defend Credentials
  • ‘Safeguarding Science Toolkit’ Released by US Agencies
  • NIST Sketches Out Vision for Semiconductor Technology Center
  • NASA Releases Report Backing Webb Telescope Name Decision
  • Science Editor Seeks to Keep William Shockley Tied to His Racism
  • Advanced Light Source Upgrade Moves Into Construction
What's Ahead

Artemis I crew vehicle passing by the Moon

The Artemis I mission’s Orion crew vehicle making a close pass around the Moon on the morning of Nov. 21, 2022. (Image credit – NASA)

Artemis Mission Reaches Lunar Space

Having successfully launched on Nov. 16, NASA’s uncrewed Artemis I mission is passing around the Moon this week on its way out to a distance from the Earth that was never reached during the predecessor Apollo program. The launch was the first for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. Its payload, the Orion crew vehicle, has been operating well and is the first human-rated spacecraft to travel into lunar space in a half-century. After departing from its lunar orbit on Dec. 1, Orion is scheduled to arrive back at Earth on Dec. 11. A total of 10 cubesats launched alongside Orion and about half appear to be working properly, though efforts to communicate with and control them are ongoing. Delays in the launch of Artemis I had raised concerns that the batteries of some of the cubesats would be drained before they could deploy.

Artemis I is a test for a similar crewed mission that NASA aims to launch in 2024, to be followed by later crewed missions to the lunar surface. To convey astronauts from Orion to the surface, NASA plans to employ the Starship vehicle the company SpaceX is developing, and the agency exercised an option last week to use Starship for its second landing in addition to its first. Other landing vehicles could be used on subsequent landings. Ultimately, NASA plans to build up a sustained program of astronautic exploration and scientific research on and around the Moon, as well as to open up that space to commercial activities. To guide these initiatives, last week the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released the U.S. government’s first National Cislunar Science and Technology Strategy. NASA’s Office of Inspector General estimated last year that the cumulative cost of the Artemis campaign will reach $93 billion by 2025 and criticized the rapid development schedule proposed for the Starship lander as “unrealistic.”

Editor’s note: The next edition of FYI This Week will be published on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

In Case You Missed It

David Crane speaking at his nomination hearing

Former energy executive David Crane at a Nov. 17 hearing on his nomination to lead the Department of Energy’s new infrastructure arm. (Image credit – Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee)

Energy Technology Nominees Defend Credentials

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing last week to consider President Biden’s nominees for three Department of Energy positions, including David Crane to be under secretary for infrastructure, the role responsible for stewarding funding DOE is receiving through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) criticized Crane’s nomination, pointing to his efforts while CEO of NRG Energy to pivot rapidly toward renewables, leading to his dismissal in 2016 by the company’s board of directors. Noting the move was preceded by a 63% decline in NRG’s share price, Barrasso asked, “Why should we believe that you're going to manage the American people's money better than you managed the NRG's money?” Crane argued there were similar declines industry-wide, correlated with changes in natural gas prices, and suggested the integrity of the company’s bond-driven investments are a better barometer of his performance. Committee Chair Joe Manchin (D-WV) responded more positively to Crane’s nomination, while seeking assurances about his support for coal power, carbon capture technology, and hydrogen derived from natural gas. Crane affirmed he sees coal as a “fundamental part of the energy mix in the United States,” and later said to Barrasso, “Safe, affordable, reliable power — the three imperatives of this industry — have not changed in the 21st century. ... We’ve just added this imperative of decarbonization.”

Committee members expressed fewer concerns about the nominations of Jeff Marootian to lead the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Gene Rodrigues to lead the Office of Electricity, though Barrasso expressed skepticism that Marootian’s experience as head of the District of Columbia’s Department of Transportation qualifies him for a role at DOE. Asked by Manchin about his background, Marootian pointed out that a significant part of EERE’s portfolio is in transportation technology and that he is broadly experienced in running large organizations.

‘Safeguarding Science Toolkit’ Released by US Agencies

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC) announced last week it has assembled a “Safeguarding Science Toolkit” consisting of links to guidance documents from government agencies and academic organizations on issues such as grantee disclosure policies, cybersecurity, and mitigation of insider-threat and supply-chain risks. Among the resources are a matrix of research security policies implemented by federal agencies and a compilation of policy documents from Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden. Acting NCSC Director Michael Orlando said in a statement that the toolkit “is not a new government compliance program or prosecution effort, just a free online resource to help U.S. researchers mitigate today’s evolving risks so they can continue to innovate for the future.” NCSC developed the toolkit in partnership with the National Science Foundation and three other federal agencies. NSF has recently taken on a greater role in educating the research community about security risks and is preparing to set up a center focused on the topic, as directed by the CHIPS and Science Act.

NIST Sketches Out Vision for Semiconductor Technology Center

Last week, the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided an update on its plans for the National Semiconductor Technology Center, the centerpiece of the $11 billion semiconductor R&D effort funded by the CHIPS and Science Act. NIST states that the center will operate as a public-private consortium and focus on “challenging projects with a time horizon beyond five years.” The center will include both “in-house” research capabilities and a network of directly funded and affiliated entities throughout the country. NIST anticipates the NSTC will be operated as an independent entity reporting to a governing board with members drawn from indus­try, academia, and government. The agency states its plans for the center will consider stakeholder input, including recent reports by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and the Semiconductor Industry Association. NIST plans to release a white paper in the first quarter of next year that will flesh out the center’s governance model and offer a “landscape analysis” that identifies gaps in the semiconductor ecosystem.

NASA Releases Report Backing Webb Telescope Name Decision

On Nov. 18, NASA released its chief historian’s investigation into whether James Webb played a significant role in the mid-20th-century persecution of federal employees suspected of homosexuality, events now known as the Lavender Scare. Webb led NASA under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and was a senior State Department official under President Harry Truman, and NASA named the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after him in 2002 in honor of his efforts to integrate science into the agency’s mission. However, critics have called for that decision to be reversed in view of Webb’s connections to the Lavender Scare. The investigation concluded Webb’s documented participation in two high-level meetings on the matter in June 1950 do not deeply implicate him in a wave of State Department firings, most of which predated his arrival there, and it found no other evidence of his involvement. The investigation also found no evidence he knew of the 1963 firing of a NASA employee who was arrested for making a “homosexual advance.” It notes the firing was “highly likely — though sadly — considered unexceptional” at the time, as it was in line with a government-wide policy set by executive order in 1953.

In a statement, NASA reaffirmed its decision from last year not to rename the telescope, when NASA Administrator Bill Nelson indicated the agency had not found evidence that “warrants” a name change. However, leading critics of the name continue to press their case, arguing Webb’s positions of responsibility and his apparent knowledge of homophobic campaigns and policies are sufficient justification for renaming. Separately, the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society announced last month that until NASA released its findings it would expect authors submitting articles to its journals to only use the initials “JWST” in referring to the telescope. The American Astronomical Society has also stated that authors in its journals need not spell out the full name on first instance. (AAS is an AIP Member Society.)

Science Editor Seeks to Keep William Shockley Tied to His Racism

In an editorial last week introducing a special issue on the 75th anniversary of the transistor, Science Editor-in-Chief Holden Thorp called out the journal’s inconsistent record in condemning the late-career racist crusade of physicist William Shockley, who won a share of the Nobel Prize for the transistor’s invention. Reviewing cases in which Science diluted Shockley’s virulence in descriptions of him and gave a platform to his defenders, Thorp wrote, “The lesson is that we at Science need to make more effort to think about everything that we do, not only from the standpoint of communicating science to the public, but also as an organization that, above all, supports all of humanity.” He continued, “As of today, a link to this editorial will appear along with any mention of Shockley in this journal. Make no mistake. Shockley was a racist. Shockley was a eugenicist. That’s all.”

Advanced Light Source Upgrade Moves Into Construction

Berkeley Lab announced last week that the Department of Energy has given the go-ahead for a major upgrade at the lab's Advanced Light Source (ALS) facility to begin the main phase of construction, a management milestone known as critical decision 3. The project will multiply the brightness of the facility’s beams by at least 100 times, and includes the construction of a new storage ring and two new beamlines, as well as upgrades to two existing beamlines and the equipment’s seismic protection. Berkeley Lab anticipates that procurement and component assembly will take about three years, after which the facility will enter a one-year period of “dark time” for installation and commissioning. The project is expected to cost about $590 million, the most expensive at Berkeley Lab since ALS was built in 1993. Congress has provided the project about $300 million so far through the regular appropriations process and an additional $96.6 million through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Events this week
All times are Eastern Standard Time, unless otherwise noted. Listings do not imply endorsement.

Monday, November 21

Methods for Change: “How to Make a Difference in Science Policy with Your Research”

10:00 am - 1:00 pm


National Academies: “Foundational Research Gaps and Future Directions for Digital Twins,” meeting five

11:00 am - 12:00 pm


NSF: Polar Programs Advisory Committee meeting on Antarctic Research Vessel interim design review

1:00 - 2:00 pm


National Space Council: “In-space Authorization and Supervision Policy Listening Session”

1:00 - 3:00 pm


US-EU Trade and Technology Council: “3rd Joint US-EU Stakeholders Outreach Event on Dual Use Research”

1:00 - 3:00 pm


National Academies: “Perspectives on Protecting U.S. Technological Advantage”

1:30 - 3:00 pm


NASA: News conference on Orion’s lunar flyby

5:00 pm


Tuesday, November 22

Hudson Institute: “Is the JCPOA Worth Saving?”

10:00 - 11:00 am


Hudson Institute: “Exploiting Commercial Innovation to Regain Military Advantage: A Conversation with Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)”

12:00 - 1:00 pm


NSF: Workshop on Advanced Chip Engineering Design and Fabrication

7:00 - 10:30 pm


Wednesday, November 23

Nanotechnology Industries Association: 10th Annual Symposium

9:00 am - 5:00 pm CET


Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving Day.


Friday, November 25

No events.


Saturday, November 27

Materials Research Society: Fall meeting

(continues through Friday)


Monday, November 28

ITIF: “How Updating a Century-Old Trade Law Could Limit China’s Ability to Profit From Unfair Trade Practices,” with Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and John Cornyn (R-TX)

12:00 - 1:00 pm


Harvard Belfer Center: “How Climate Change Awakened a 'Sleepy Little Agency”

12:00 - 1:15 pm


National Academies: “Electromagnetic Methods to Study the Solid Earth”

12:30 - 4:30 pm


Tuesday, November 29

NRC: Reactor Safeguards Advisory Committee meeting

(continues through Friday)


National Academies: Board on Physics and Astronomy fall meeting

(continues Wednesday)


National Academies: “Committee on Elementary Particle Physics: Progress and Promise,” meeting three

(continues Wednesday)


Embassy of Sweden: “A Scientific Symposium in Honor of Alfred Nobel and in Attendance of the 2022 American Nobel Prize Laureates”

9:00 - 10:30 am


USGCRP: Webinar on the draft 5th National Climate Assessment

12:00 - 1:00 pm


New America: “Science Fiction / Real Policy Book Club: Lock In by John Scalzi”

6:00 - 7:30 pm

Know of an upcoming science policy event either inside or outside the Beltway? Email us at [email protected].


S&T Policy Think Tank Seeking Fellows

The Science and Technology Policy Institute is seeking candidates for its two-year fellowship program, which provides opportunities for recent bachelor’s degree recipients to contribute to research on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and other federal science agencies. Candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field between May 2021 and July 2023. Applications are due Jan. 16, 2023.

Medical Physics Society Hiring Government Relations Manager

The American Association of Physicists in Medicine is hiring a senior government relations manager to “develop, implement, and manage a comprehensive government affairs program,” including policy analysis and legislative advocacy at the state and federal level. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and five years relevant experience, and those with backgrounds in medical physics, science policy, or another scientific field are preferred.

Planetary Society Hiring Government Relations Director

The Planetary Society is hiring a government relations director to implement its federal policy and advocacy strategy. Candidates with formal training in science, engineering, or space policy and strong communications skills are preferred, though individuals without a scientific background will be considered provided they have at least five years of government relations experience in space-related fields. Application review will begin Dec. 1.


For additional opportunities, please visit Know of an opportunity for scientists to engage in science policy? Email us at [email protected].

Around the web
News and views currently in circulation. Links do not imply endorsement.

White House

Washington Post: White House seeks more than $47 billion in emergency COVID, Ukraine aid

STAT: OSTP Deputy Director Alondra Nelson on the midterms, the Cancer Moonshot, and a book in the works

OSTP: OSTP announces Asad Ramzanali will succeed Marc Aidinoff as OSTP chief of staff

OSTP: Readout of NSTC roundtable on preventing harassment in isolated scientific research environments

OSTP: Raising ambition for a rapid and just net-zero transition with game-changing innovations (perspective by Rachel Reolfi, et al.)

OMB: Instructions on migrating to post-quantum cryptography



House Science Committee: Chairwoman Johnson official portrait unveiling ceremony (video)

Dallas Morning News: Portrait and tributes as House Science Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) retires after 30 years

George Mason University: Visiting GMU, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) says he is taking graduate-level science and mathematics classes at the university

House Science Committee: Committee members celebrate successful launch of Artemis I

Senate Commerce Committee: Ranking Member Wicker (R-MS) celebrates the launch of Artemis I test flight

Defense News: House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threatens to hold up key defense bill until next year

The Hill: FTX crash illustrates why Congress should reestablish the Office of Technology Assessment (perspective by Matthew Mittelsteadt)


Science, Society, and the Economy

Wall Street Journal: Stagnant scientific productivity holding back growth

Argonne National Lab: Argonne and Economic Development Administration partner to launch national economic research center

Research Policy: Are public subsidies effective for university spinoffs? Evidence from SBIR awards in the University of California system (paper by Riccardo Fini)

NBER: Does ‘Made in China 2025’ work for China? Evidence from Chinese listed firms (paper by Lee Branstetter and Guangwei Lei)

Arizona State University: Writers envision the next 75 years of science policy

Issues in Science and Technology: Humanizing science and engineering for the 21st century (perspective by Kaye Husbands Fealing, et al.)

Daedalus: Institutions, experts, and the loss of trust

APS News: APS Science Trust Project trains members to curb the spread of misinformation

Carnegie Endowment: A CERN model for studying the information environment (perspective by Alicia Wanless and Jacob Shapiro)


Education and Workforce

Wall Street Journal: US vows to tackle visa delays as frustrations mount

Inside Higher Education: International enrollment has largely recovered from a steep drop during the pandemic, according to a new report

AAU/Business Roundtable: International students and American competitiveness (report)

Law360: Tech workers want another go at foreign STEM grad rules

Nature: Obstacle race: The barriers facing graduates who study abroad

NSTC: Convergence education: A guide to transdisciplinary STEM learning and teaching (report) 

AAAS: AAAS awarded nearly $20 million to establish three distinct initiatives supporting representation in STEMM fields

Washington Post: Canadian police charge Hydro-Québec researcher with spying for China

Washington Post: Chinese intelligence officer gets 20 years for trying to steal GE secrets

Nature: Legal win for US scientist Sherry Chen bolsters others caught in China crackdown

ScienceInsider: Finnish astronomers acquitted in defamation case related to protesting harassment

Nature: Scientists say harassment in the Antarctic must stop — but US plan falls short


Research Management

Clarivate: The annual G20 scorecard of research performance (report)

Special Competitive Studies Project: Harnessing the new geometry of innovation (report)

Bloomberg: Big tech investors are done with ‘science projects’

ScienceInsider: Crypto company's collapse strands scientists

NAPA: Evaluation launched of NSF’s new Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships 

GAO: China: Efforts underway to address technology transfer risk at US universities, but ICE could improve related data (report)

Federal News Network: How China takes American know-how and technology right from under our noses (interview with Greg Levesque)

COGR: Research security and the cost of compliance (report)

Research Professional: The trusted research agenda demands dedicated resources (perspective by Sapna Marwaha)

American Astronomical Society: Why is the AAS meeting so expensive?

Times Higher Education: Elsevier and Springer Nature sit out Plan S cost comparison tool

Times Higher Education: The US' new open access mandate must not line the pockets of grifters (perspective by Harvey Graff)


Labs and Facilities

Science|Business: European Court of Auditors warns of ITER delays due to Russian invasion of Ukraine

Research Professional: ITER plays down EU auditors’ worry over Russian involvement

NRC: Proposed amendment to NIST reactor license to allow operation with debris in fuel coolant

New Books Network: The leak: Politics, activists, and loss of trust at Brookhaven National Lab (audio interview with Robert Crease)

Santa Fe New Mexican: Watchdog agency grills Los Alamos, nuclear officials on lab safety

ExchangeMonitor: Court won’t intervene to help Los Alamos COVID objectors in arbitration at lab

SRNL: Savannah River National Lab appoints Anthony Belian as director of Nonproliferation Applied Science Center

Battelle: Kirkland Donald elected chairman of Battelle’s board of directors

NRAO: NRAO Director Tony Beasley appointed to new five-year term

Physics Today: NSF’s Arecibo strategy puts future research into question

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): Bipartisan congressional letter urges NSF to update Arecibo plan to include M&O of the scientific instruments currently at the site

Physics World: Decommissioned Namibian telescope to be brought back to life


Computing and Communications

HPCwire: Oak Ridge Frontier supercomputer keeps place atop Top500 list

ITIF: Comments to NIST regarding implementation of the CHIPS incentives program 

Bloomberg: Apple prepares to get made-in-US chips in pivot from Asia supply

Science|Business: European Parliament raises concerns over scope, budget, and geographical spread of the chips project

CNBC: Chinese takeover of the UK’s biggest chip plant blocked on national security grounds

Nikkei Asia: China tops US to take research crown at global chip conference

Defense One: How China is trying to turn the US CHIPS Act to its favor (perspective by SZ Tan and Peter Singer)

Protocol: Are the US and China really in an AI race? (feature)
Hudson Institute: Hybrid quantum systems and the future of American high-tech leadership (report)

Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA): Feenstra introduces bill to apply quantum computing to fertilizer production, other critical manufacturing priorities beneficial to Main Street America

Chemistry World: Quantum computing has its limits (perspective by Philip Ball)



NASA OIG: NASA’s top management and performance challenges (report)

New York Times: With Artemis, NASA returns to the Moon this week. Why do we feel conflicted? (perspectives)

Nature: Private companies race to the Moon: Japan spacecraft set to take early lead

NASA: NASA, Japan announce Gateway contributions, space station extension

OSTP: RFI on sustainability of microgravity R&D during and beyond ISS transition

State Department: Joint statement of the first meeting of the US-France comprehensive dialogue on space

SpaceNews: Europe seeks greater autonomy and independence in space

Air and Space Museum: A milestone for Curiosity: 10 years of exploration in Gale Crater on Mars

Planetary Society: Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 reenters atmosphere, completes mission

ScienceInsider: Giant satellite outshines stars, sparking fresh concerns for astronomers 

Washington Post: Loss of 38 satellites prompts call for better space weather forecasts


Weather, Climate, and Environment

New York Times: UN climate talks end with a deal to pay poor nations for damages

Carbon Brief: Analysis of key outcomes agreed to at the COP27 climate talks 

E&E News: Biden's thaw with China could shape the climate talks

New York Times: Meet Sue Biniaz, the ‘closer’ who finds the right words when climate talks hit a wall

New York Times: A clash over degrees: How hot should nations allow the Earth to get?

E&E News: EPA floats sharply increased social cost of carbon

Nature: Aerosols must be included in climate risk assessments (perspective by Geeta Persad, et al.)

BAMS: The role of the weather, water, and climate enterprise in the proposed SEC rule on climate-related disclosures (paper by John Ten Hoeve)

NOAA: Meet NOAA Research’s new assistant administrator, Steven Thur (interview)

Washington Post: Phones can now give earthquake early warnings. Here’s how to get them

GAO: S&T spotlight on biorecycling of plastics



DOE: DOE celebrates one-year anniversary of the bipartisan infrastructure law

DOE: Biden-Harris administration announces nearly $350 million funding opportunity for long-duration energy storage demonstration projects

DOE: Getting to know the Loan Programs Office: Energy Act of 2020, BIL implementation (perspective by Jigar Shah)

Financial Times: Billions flow to nascent US battery sector with push from climate law

E&E News: Republicans seek GAO probe of DOE-developed battery technology transfer to China

Berkeley Lab: National laboratories launch buildings consortium leveraging benefits of thermal and electrochemical energy storage for all Americans

Utility Dive; Rising steel prices, interest rates could push NuScale Utah project cost to $100 per megawatt-hour, but support remains

ANS: Abilene Christian’s NEXT Lab reaches milestone in molten salt reactor research

Argonne National Lab: Argonne releases small modular reactor waste analysis report

NSF: NSF and DOE partner on geothermal internship opportunity

Nature: How the hydrogen revolution can help save the planet — and how it can’t



NNSA: NNSA and its partners complete first full-scale, international mobile nuclear facility exercise

New York Times: The surprising afterlife of unwanted atom tombs

National Security Archive: New declassifications on nuclear weapons safety and security

APS News: Physicists can help combat global threat of nuclear weapons, say experts at nuclear physics meeting

Acquisition Talk: PPBE reform with Ellen Lord and Michael Brown (audio)

Inside Defense: Bipartisan letter urges appropriators to boost Defense Innovation Unit's budget



Bloomberg: COVID aid in Congress counts on bipartisan support for research

New York Times: The end of vaccines at ‘warp speed’

Washington Post: Wuhan’s early COVID cases are a mystery. What is China hiding? (editorial)

City Journal: The next Congress should investigate not only how the virus emerged but also the institutional failures that obscured the search for truth (perspective by Nicholas Wade)

Nature: WHO principles speed up ethical sharing of pathogen genomic data (perspective by Vasee Moorthy, et al.)

Chronicle of Higher Education: Researchers say applications to a genetics database overseen by NIH were rejected because they might lead to stigma

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): Bipartisan group of senators raise conflict of interest concerns related to National Academies report on organ donation system


International Affairs

Science|Business: EU agrees €12.4 billion budget for Horizon Europe in 2023

Times Higher Education: Germans enjoy 'ground-breaking' budgets despite bleak outlook

Times Higher Education: Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt recommits to UK spending £20 billion on research by 2024

Nature: Science spared from UK budget cuts amid economic turmoil

UK Government: UK announcing package of up to £484 million funding for R&D and fusion, while the EU continues to block our association 

Science|Business: UK faces exclusion from high-level Horizon calls in quantum

Physics World: Report calls on the UK to show ambition in the development of quantum technologies

Science|Business: UK cuts R&D tax credits over fraud concerns

Times Higher Education: Norway jails researcher who let Iranians use microscope

Science|Business: Arctic researchers forced to modify projects amid geopolitical tensions with Russia

Wilson Center: Antarctic Treaty System shows resilience in the face of Ukraine war tensions (perspective by Evan Bloom)

Nature: Will the World Cup boost Qatar’s science ambitions?

Wall Street Journal: China’s Xi stacks government with science and tech experts amid rivalry with US

US-China Commission: 2022 annual report to Congress 

Chronicle of Higher Education: The rise of China’s universities (perspective by William Kirby)

South China Morning Post: Across the Taiwan Strait, astronomers keen to keep up contact despite COVID and political tensions