The presidential race is not the only election in which the results are questioned and recounts considered. Results are not yet final in at least one Senate contest and several House races. Although it is certain that Republicans will hold onto the majority in both chambers - by slimmer margins than in the 106th Congress - the final numbers are still awaited. This FYI looks at possible changes in committee leadership that could impact R&D within federal departments and agencies tracked by FYI.
A National Academies committee has identified obstacles to the appointment of federal senior level science and technology administrators, and has made recommendations for reducing these problems. One of their most important recommendations was that the next president appoint his Assistant to the President for Science and Technology as quickly as possible.
When Congress adjourns this month all bills that are still pending before it will die. Included in the obituary is likely to be legislation that would authorize the doubling of federal civilian R&D over the next ten years. Despite repeated passage in the Senate of bills that would accomplish this goal, the bill has never cleared the House Science Committee.
"Given the importance of federal R&D investments to the nation, states, and localities, amazingly little information is available about them that is complete, detailed, and current." - new RAND report on Federal R&D
After reports last year of cost overruns and mismanagement in construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), DOE was forced to restructure the project. Congress, in its FY 2000 appropriations bill, demanded new cost and schedule estimates for NIF.
During the recently-completed U.S.-Russian summit in Moscow, the two countries announced a formal agreement on disposal of excess nuclear weapons-grade plutonium. The agreement was announced in a joint statement on June 4.
Earlier this year, the Council of the American Astronomical Society issued the following open letter, which appeared in this month's AAS Newsletter. The impetus for this statement was the Kansas State Board of Education decision on the teaching of evolution. This open letter was signed by AAS President Robert D. Gehrz.