Reports, reviews, and assessments

In Part 2 of its report on research regulations, a National Academies committee reiterates its call for Congress to create a Research Policy Board and urges the administration to not revise human subjects research regulations until a new national commission weighs in on the subject. Congress has begun to act on the Research Policy Board recommendation.

6 Jul 2016

Over the past two months, a House Science Committee bill designed to tighten the NSF’s management and financial oversight of its large research facilities has moved quickly from introduction to full House passage.

17 Jun 2016

The Department of Energy recommends that the U.S. remain a member of the international ITER fusion project through fiscal year 2018 and then reassess its participation. The department notes that without budget increases for the Office of Science, the required U.S. contributions to ITER could delay other facility construction projects, such as the pending upgrades to x-ray and neutron user facilities which an advisory committee just finished assessing.

10 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.

1 Jun 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 the national labs.

24 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.

1 Feb 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.

28 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.

20 Jan 2016

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.

25 Nov 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:

14 Oct 2015

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