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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.


March 31, 2021

President Biden unveiled an infrastructure plan today that proposes spending more than $200 billion to boost the R&D capacity of the U.S., including by creating a technology-focused directorate within the National Science Foundation and a new national lab focused on climate.

January 15, 2021

Funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science is increasing marginally in fiscal year 2021. Most of its component programs will receive steady funding, though office-wide initiatives in quantum information science and artificial intelligence are receiving substantial boosts, and work is ramping up on the proposed Electron Ion Collider and Cosmic Microwave Background-S4 projects.

January 7, 2021

The Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee has unanimously approved a strategic plan to guide the Department of Energy’s efforts in fusion energy and plasma physics research over the next decade.

December 16, 2020

With a series of high-priority projects now in progress, a new report urges the Department of Energy’s High Energy Physics program to start shifting funding back to researchers and to accelerator and detector R&D.

December 11, 2020

The collapse of the iconic Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico has triggered a campaign to rebuild a new and improved telescope at the site.

November 25, 2020

This article is adapted from a Nov. 24 post by Physics Today, which is also published by the American Institute of Physics.

October 9, 2020

As Congress negotiates appropriations for fiscal year 2021, the House has proposed a marginal increase in the budget for the Department of Energy Office of Science while the Senate has not made any counterpart proposal public. House Democrats have also put forward an expansive package of “emergency” economic stimulus spending.

October 1, 2020

An advisory panel has recommended that the Department of Energy immediately begin preparing to replace the pressure vessel of the High Flux Isotope Reactor and convert the facility to use low-enriched uranium fuel. It also recommends commencing studies that could lead to a new research reactor.

September 16, 2020

The Department of Energy and National Science Foundation are investing over $1 billion in dozens of new research centers designed to foster collaborative research aligned with top U.S. R&D priorities.

September 11, 2020

FYI spoke with Department of Energy Office of Science Director Chris Fall about a range of issues bearing on the national lab system, including a new “Labs of the Future” thought exercise, pandemic recovery, diversity initiatives, and research security.