Reports, reviews, and assessments

1 Jun 2016

Two low-probability but high-impact events—massive solar storms and human-caused electromagnetic pulses—have recently climbed higher on the list of policymaker concerns about threats to critical infrastructure, resulting in the White House releasing a National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan and Congress considering bills on both subjects.

24 Feb 2016

The Department of Energy and two of its advisory bodies largely concur with the findings of the congressionally-chartered Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories. The Commission’s report is the latest in a long series of studies which have discovered a dysfunctional relationship between the department and its national labs.

1 Feb 2016

The 2016 edition of the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators report depicts a world in which U.S. dominance in science and engineering on the world stage is fading as the U.S. federal investment in R&D declines while China and other competing nations rapidly grow their science and engineering capacities.

28 Jan 2016

At a House Armed Service Committee hearing, representatives and witnesses focused on arguments for and against a National Academies study panel’s recommendation that the labs perform a series of nuclear weapon design competitions as a means of maintaining a skilled weapons design workforce.

20 Jan 2016

Rep. Bill Foster follows in the footsteps of a previous Ph.D. physicist-turned-politician, former Rep. Rush Holt, by leading another effort to reestablish the long-mourned Office of Technology Assessment.

25 Nov 2015

NASA released a unifying vision to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. While the goal has support in Congress and from the White House, securing adequate sustained funding through the next two decades and managing the inherent risks involved in human travel to deep space remain considerable barriers to NASA’s goal.

14 Oct 2015

The science and academic communities have expressed concerns about restrictions put in place in recent years on federal scientists attending conferences and the increase in regulations regarding academic research, as they affect the conduct of research and development. Two recent developments are of note:

Conference Travel Restrictions on Federal Scientists:

10 Sep 2015

"Antarctic science has global consequences.”  -- Committee on the Development of a Strategic Vision for the U.S. Antarctic Program

4 Sep 2015

A committee of the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences recently completed a review of the four most recent decadal surveys in the space sciences. The committee's draft report praises the virtues of decadal surveys but also identifies lessons learned and best practices moving forward.

4 Jun 2015

A new report published by the MIT Committee to Evaluate the Innovation Deficit calls for the U.S. to shore up its declining investments in basic research, highlighting fifteen under-exploited areas of science and technology in which the authors believe a more robust basic research investment would help to improve society, shape and maintain U.S.

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