Scientific societies

The latest iteration of the National Academies planetary science decadal survey is the first to undertake detailed examinations of astrobiology, the integration of science with crewed exploration, planetary defense, and the state of the planetary science profession.

Governments and science organizations around the world are grappling over the extent to which sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine should extend to scientific exchanges.

The two federal agencies that oversee users of the electromagnetic spectrum have pledged to improve their coordination after a series of high-profile disputes over spectrum allocation decisions.

A new study sponsored by the American Physical Society concludes that U.S. systems for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles cannot be relied on to counter even a limited nuclear strike and are unlikely to achieve reliability within the next 15 years.

The Department of Justice is setting a higher bar for criminal prosecutions of academic scientists as part of a pivot away from its controversial “China Initiative,” while maintaining a high priority on countering malign activity by the Chinese government.

The American Physical Society is launching an initiative aimed at countering scientific misinformation and increasing trust in science, which was also the subject of a related panel discussion last month at the society’s Annual Leadership Meeting.

The Justice Department is continuing to backtrack in bringing cases against academic researchers for allegedly concealing ties to Chinese entities. Meanwhile, surveys suggest that efforts by the department and science agencies to crack down on disclosure policy violations have led to widespread anxiety among researchers.

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.

In the midst of a national reckoning over systemic racism and police violence, the physical sciences community is searching for ways to deepen its efforts to make physics more inclusive and equitable.  

Universities are suing to block a new policy by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would force international students to leave the country if they can only take online classes in the fall. Together with scientific societies, they have warned the policy could have catastrophic effects on the U.S. higher education system and the lives of countless students.