In a bipartisan letter, the leaders of the House Science Committee accused Leidos, the logistics contractor for the U.S. Antarctic Program, of presenting inaccurate information and failing to fully cooperate with a National Science Foundation investigation of pervasive sexual harassment and assault on the continent.
About half the $1 billion budget increase the National Science Foundation received for fiscal year 2023 is going to its new Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships Directorate. Much of the rest will support initiatives in STEM workforce development and emerging technologies, leaving discipline-specific divisions with relatively small increases.
The House Science Committee opened the 118th Congress by examining how a national science and technology strategy could help address urgent challenges posed by competition with China and by climate change.
Major science and technology provisions in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act cover issues such as intelligence agencies’ adoption of emerging technology, biomanufacturing, the technological rivalry between the U.S. and China, and research capacity-building at minority-serving institutions.
The CHIPS and Science Act prescribes the mission of the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships that the National Science Foundation created early this year, establishing priority focus areas and authorizing new programs supporting technology commercialization, regional innovation, and workforce development.
The National Science Foundation is taking steps to address sexual assault and harassment at the Antarctic research facilities it supports, including launching a new office to support victims. The problem was the subject of an expansive report the agency released to the public in August.
The new CHIPS and Science Act includes a variety of provisions aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the STEM workforce through grant support and workforce research, and by instituting new requirements for data collection and ethical research conduct.
With the CHIPS and Science Act set to channel billions of dollars into U.S. semiconductor R&D and manufacturing, chip companies and other stakeholders are weighing in on how to best structure the new programs.