Labs and facilities

The U.S. is sunsetting research collaborations with Russia in response to its war against Ukraine, joining a coalition of countries that have already moved to restrict ties with research institutions affiliated with the Russian government.

The latest appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey falls well short of the Biden administration’s target, but Congress also provided a major one-time supplement for critical minerals mapping through the infrastructure law. This year, the administration is seeking to deepen the agency’s role in providing climate science and decision-support services.

The House Science Committee is pressing the Biden administration to seek significantly higher budgets for the Department of Energy Office of Science, arguing in particular that funding levels requested for science facility construction projects would cause them to fall behind schedule and incur additional costs.

Congress followed the Biden administration's lead in delivering a moderate budget increase to the Department of Energy's Office of Science in the current fiscal year, but some lawmakers believe the office needs much more money than is being asked for to advance facilities projects and core research programs.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s base budget is increasing 3% for fiscal year 2022, despite the Biden administration’s bid to boost it by around 40% to nearly $1.5 billion. The administration is making a similar push this year in large part to bolster NIST’s role in fostering advanced manufacturing and emerging technologies.

As the House and Senate prepare to convene a conference committee to reconcile their disparate proposals for sweeping national competitiveness legislation, a common vision has emerged for expanding the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The James Webb Space Telescope has successfully reached its orbit following a protracted mission-development process that was plagued by severe cost growth. Lessons learned from that experience have led to reforms in how NASA manages large space science missions.

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

The Department of Energy’s Nuclear Physics program is currently commissioning a major new user facility, ramping up work on a flagship particle collider, and mulling a multinational campaign to detect a hypothesized particle-decay process, all while facing widely diverging budget scenarios.

Aside from its highest-profile recommendations, the latest astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey recommends priorities for small and mid-scale projects, with a particular emphasis on time-domain and multi-messenger astronomy. It also calls for increased spending on technology development.