EPA has issued a proposed rule that would require data and models underlying certain scientific studies to be made publicly available before the agency could use the studies in developing regulations. Among its justifications, the agency is arguing the proposal is consistent with the research community’s recent efforts to address concerns about the irreproducibility of swaths of science.
House Science Committee members and expert witnesses called for more robust space weather research, observations, and forecasting at a hearing last week. They also pushed for better defined roles in government, academia, and industry.
The House Science Committee unanimously approved a bipartisan bill that would direct the National Science Foundation to support several new grant programs focused on mentoring, training, and apprenticeships in STEM fields.
By the narrowest margin in the history of the space agency, the Senate confirmed Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) as NASA administrator yesterday on a party-line vote of 50 to 49. The other chamber of Congress also made NASA news this week, with the House Science Committee advancing a NASA reauthorization bill after a contentious debate over funding recommendations for its Earth Science Division.
At an April 11 hearing, House Science Committee leaders expressed deep concern about the scope of foreign espionage campaigns targeted at U.S. academic institutions and sought advice on how to implement countermeasures while maintaining an open research enterprise.
At a House Science Committee hearing dedicated to the national laboratories, committee members probed the role the labs play in developing and commercializing technologies. Members also announced two bills directing DOE to conduct demonstration projects in nuclear energy and energy storage, respectively.
A chorus of concern has emerged in Congress about China’s allegedly pervasive exploitation of the U.S.’s intellectual property and open research environment, with some lawmakers seeking to overhaul foreign investment and export control systems. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is preparing a package of unilateral retaliation measures that reportedly could include visa restrictions on Chinese students and academics.
NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot testified before the House Science Committee that the agency is looking into alternate ways to obtain the astrophysics data the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope mission would have provided. However, he has since emphasized that the mission cancellation is only a proposal.
A House Science Committee hearing this week showcased committee members’ ongoing support for fusion energy research and U.S. participation in the France-based ITER project currently under construction. The committee also discussed the consequences of proposed cuts to the budget for inertial confinement fusion research.
At a recent House Science Committee hearing, members were united in calling for changes necessary to ensure institutions of research and higher education are free of sexual harassment. Witnesses on an all-woman panel called for changes within a culture they say remains permissive of harassment and other misconduct.