International Affairs

FYI presents its annual list of 10 science policy stories to watch in the year ahead.

DOE officials recently reported that U.S. contributions to upgrades at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider may face a shortfall this year and that the department is pursuing a "conservative" approach to funding the flagship LBNF/DUNE project, which has experienced major cost increases.

The House-passed version of Congress' annual defense policy legislation includes a government-wide ban on federal research grantees participating in “malign” talent recruitment programs supported by China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The Senate has advanced a more expansive version of the restriction through separate legislation.

Climate change, the pandemic, and emerging technology governance were major themes of President Biden’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21. Meanwhile, a series of high-level meetings have set the stage for more intense technology cooperation between the U.S. and partner nations.

A federal judge has acquitted nanotechnologist Anming Hu on charges that he defrauded NASA by failing to disclose contracts with a Chinese academic institution. The judge found Department of Justice prosecutors presented unconvincing evidence of malign intent, echoing broader criticisms that many DOJ ‘China Initiative’ cases are ill-founded.

Speaking at an international conference this month, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the Biden administration is aiming to build networks of technology-oriented partnerships with other democracies and that he is planning to build up the State Department’s ability to conduct “cyber and tech diplomacy.”

With telecommunications applications increasingly occupying radio spectrum bands close to those used for critical satellite-based weather monitoring and research, the House Science Committee is examining why federal agencies have had difficulty reconciling their spectrum-related interests.

Reps. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) recently held a roundtable to highlight concerns that federal efforts to combat alleged attempts by the Chinese government to exploit the U.S. research system are leading to false accusations and racial profiling.

The Senate is considering major expansions to research security policy as part of debate on the Endless Frontier Act, including a proposal to empower the government to block universities from accepting certain foreign gifts and contracts.

Federal agencies are expanding disclosure requirements for the scientists they fund in response to a new research security policy from the White House, but are facing pushback from university groups concerned about the scope of information sought.