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Labs & Scientific Facilities

FYI covers major policy developments related to universities, national laboratories, and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, especially those relevant to the physical sciences.


1 May 2020

The Department of Energy has set up a single point of contact for gaining access to COVID-19 experts and research tools across its national laboratories. Chris Fall, director of the DOE Office of Science, described the goals of the new “virtual lab” in an interview with Physics Today.

21 Apr 2020

Scientific societies and university associations have proposed emergency measures to address disruptions to the research enterprise from the coronavirus pandemic, hoping Congress will include them in its next broad relief package.

26 Mar 2020

The Trump administration is once again proposing to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy and slash the budgets of many of the Department of Energy’s applied R&D programs. Within reduced toplines, the department would prioritize crosscutting initiatives as well as facilities projects such as the multibillion dollar Versatile Test Reactor.

20 Mar 2020

Federal research facilities across the U.S. have been forced to close as government officials escalate their efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

19 Feb 2020

The Trump administration proposes to shave about $500 million from the National Science Foundation’s current $8.3 billion budget while ramping up support for selected priority areas, such as artificial intelligence, quantum information science, and spectrum sharing research.

17 Jan 2020

The Department of Energy has selected Brookhaven National Laboratory as the site for its proposed Electron-Ion Collider, a flagship nuclear science facility that is estimated to cost between $1.6 billion and $2.6 billion.

9 Jan 2020

The budget for the Department of Energy Office of Science is increasing 6% this year to an even $7 billion. The increase is spread across the office’s six programs, with Fusion Energy Sciences receiving a particularly large boost.

2 Oct 2019

Congress is seeking to increase the budget for the National Science Foundation’s research and education programs in fiscal year 2020, with the House proposing a 7% overall budget increase to $8.6 billion and the Senate a 3% increase.

26 Sep 2019

Both the House and Senate propose substantial budget increases for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons R&D and nonproliferation programs, matching or exceeding the president’s request in many instances.

15 Aug 2019

Speaking at the kickoff meeting for the astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey, NASA Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz offered a full-throated defense of continued investment in multi-billion dollar “flagship” space telescopes.