Programs: Science and Policy
Science and Technology in Congress
The House Science and Technology Committee took the first steps to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act by marking up a committee print of its energy title in the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on March 25. This title contains three bills that provide a comprehensive reauthorization of the Department of Energy's Office of Science (H.R. 4905), a reauthorization of ARPA-E (H.R. 4906), and an authorization of Energy Innovation Hubs (H.R. 4907).
Much of the discussion and several amendments offered during the 3-hour markup centered on how much to authorize for these well-regarded programs in an era of rising deficits. Subcommittee Chairman Brian Baird (D-WA) agreed with the need to spend wisely but also noted that the energy sector, particularly imported energy sources, drive much of the nation's debt. He added that future U.S. competitiveness will depend upon advances from energy research.
A comprehensive authorization of DOE's science programs was not included in the original COMPETES Act because its activities at the time were guided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The title on the Office of Science provides guidance for programs within the Office of Science and provides authorizations for the Office of Science overall (rising from $6.2 billion for FY 2011 to $8.14 billion for FY 2015) and for basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, and advanced scientific computing. The bill also authorizes Energy Frontier Research Centers, which are competitive awards that support multi-year, multi-investigator scientific collaborations focused on overcoming hurdles in basic science that block transformational discoveries. Authorization levels in the bill may change, as R&D Caucus Co-chair Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) withdrew her amendment to lower the overall authorization level for the Office of Science upon receiving assurances from Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) that he would work with her prior to consideration by the full Committee to lower some of the authorization levels.
The APRA-E reauthorization would authorize increasing levels up to $1 billion in FY 2015 for the program and makes some additions to ARPA-E, including the creation of a Fellowship program to act as an internal "think-tank" in setting the strategic vision of ARPA-E and in carrying out the program (see February 2010 STC Newsletter).
The bill would also authorize Energy Innovation Hubs for the first time. Hubs are multidisciplinary collaborations that support research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of advanced energy technologies and each Hub has a single technological focus. Hubs received their first appropriation in FY 2010 and additional funds are included in the President's FY 2011 budget request.
Additional subcommittee markups on other titles of the bill and a full committee markup are planned for the spring. In the Senate, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a March 10 hearing on innovation and competitiveness to evaluate progress made since America COMPETES became law. Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) opened the hearing by stating "Science-based innovation drives enormous economic growth and helps America compete in the global economy… At a time when the economy continues to struggle, our future depends on the investments we make today to keep our nation competitive and ensure our communities' long-term economic security and prosperity." Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) added her support for science and technology, noting it is important both to train future scientists and engineers but also make sure all students are proficient in STEM. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director John Holdren echoed these comments and testified that he was supportive of reauthorizing COMPETES but added that OSTP was not waiting for a reauthorization to implement new science, technology and education efforts.
-- Kasey White
The White House plan for NASA, laid out in the President's February budget request, is facing quite a bit of pushback on Capitol Hill. It called for NASA to scrap the Constellation program, which is focused on developing a replacement for the soon-to-retired space shuttle fleet and sending astronauts back to the moon.
Constellation began under President George W. Bush and includes the Ares I rocket and the Orion crew capsule, which have both begun development. Critics point out that it has been plagued by a host of cost, scheduling, and technological challenges. Moreover, a high-level independent commission, headed by Norm Augustine, released a report last year that NASA's human spaceflight budget is not compatible with its mission and that human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit is not possible at current funding levels.
If the Administration has its way, NASA would rely on private contractors for the development of new space flight technologies. Proponents of the plan think it could revitalize the U.S. space program.
But several members of Congress have expressed doubts about the plan in media interviews and committee hearings, not only for what the plan contained but for what it didn't. Details were scant, some said; others feared the plan lacks "vision," with no timetables or destinations. As for the idea of NASA outsourcing its launch capabilities, concerns centered on job losses and the readiness of the private sector to pick up the mantle of human space flight held by NASA for the past several decades.
Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, which has jurisdiction over NASA and is seeking to reauthorize the agency this year, praised the budget's focus on Earth science, climate research, and aeronautics. But he also questioned the outsourcing of crew transport. "I must be frank," he said on February 25. "So far, this plan has not found a lot of support here on the Hill." Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) said he is "encouraged by certain elements" but that “there is a lot of unease, particularly when it comes to the proposed plans for human spaceflight." House appropriator Alan Mollohan (D-WV), in his March 23 statement, said simply "there is much we need to learn about this major change in the direction of our space program."
Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, the home state of NASA's Johnson Space Center, has introduced a new bill to extend the life of the shuttle program until NASA is confident that a viable replacement vehicle is available. NASA soon plans to ground the aged shuttle program for budget and safety reasons.
In response to congressional misgivings, Obama plans to offer more details on his vision for NASA at a high-level space summit in Florida this month.
-- Erin Heath
On March 16, the House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology unanimously passed H.R. 4842, a bill to reauthorize the Science and Technology directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. After the directorate was established in 2002, it attempted to ramp up spending very rapidly from a limited institutional foundation, and its subsequent struggles led Congress to cut funding and increase oversight in its 2007 appropriations bill. Sponsored by Chair Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Ranking Member Dan Lungren (R-CA), H.R. 4842 contains further administrative requirements while expanding authorized funding to $1.12 billion in 2011 and $1.16 billion in 2012. The authorized 2011 funding would represent an 11% increase over the directorate's 2010 budget.
In a hearing on March 3, Chairwoman Clarke expressed her continued concerns about the directorate's resource allocation process, stating that "S&T will never achieve success unless research rules and metrics are more fully established." H.R. 4842 contains many provisions that reflect that perspective, most importantly the stipulation that DHS S&T issue explicit guidelines for how it identifies, prioritizes, funds and evaluates projects. Furthermore, it would require the directorate to develop a detailed risk assessment system to prioritize top security threats, and report yearly to Congress.
Another problem area for the directorate has been communication with government end users and private sector technology suppliers. In response to these issues, H.R. 4842 contains measures intended to ensure that the S&T directorate coordinates more closely with its partners. On the demand side, it is instructed to assess whether or not DHS employees have adequate training to properly describe their technology needs. To facilitate the supply of innovative technologies, the bill establishes an Office of Public-Private Partnerships to communicate DHS technology needs to the entrepreneurial community.
H.R. 4842 also authorizes funding of key research areas. Notably, it mandates that $75 million in funds for each of FY 2011 and 2012 be allocated for cybersecurity research, a field in which the S&T directorate has not previously had a major commitment. It is to take on an ambitious set of challenges, including projects to develop more inherently secure Internet protocols, mitigate the effects of digital attacks, and support standardized testing of cybersecurity-related technology. Additionally, the directorate would be required to commission a National Research Council study on cybersecurity incentives. The study would tackle a number of provocative questions, most notably whether or not companies should be held liable for their digital security failures.
Chemical and biological security would continue to be a major focus of the S&T directorate's research, as the bill reasserts the importance of developing assays for biological and chemical agents, planning strategies for first responders, and advanced bioforensics techniques.
In addition, H.R. 4842 authorizes $305 million for the Domestic Nuclear Detection office for FY 2011, consistent with the President's budget request.
-- Jonathan McMurry
Both the House and Senate held hearings to discuss the FY 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) budget. As proposed by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the President's FY 2011 Budget Justification would restructure the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) as well as rename it to the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). NPOESS, a NOAA, NASA, and Department of Defense (DOD) project, was designed to save money by merging civil and defense weather and climate satellite programs, but instead has been plagued with cost overruns and delays in schedule. The reorganization will put DOD in charge of procuring instruments for and management of the morning orbit. NOAA and NASA will be responsible for procurement and management responsibilities for the afternoon orbit. NOAA would receive a budget increase of $679 million for JPSS while NASA's JPSS budget would fall $60 million. The increase can be attributed to an increase of NOAA responsibilities as a result of the restructuring.
Congress appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach before they sign off on the realignment. House Science and Technology Ranking Member Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) stated, "This decision comes without a full transition plan, a detailed cost estimate, or an idea of how a joint ground system will impact data coming from potentially two different satellite systems. This Committee has been engaged from the beginning on this issue, and it will need to exercise substantial oversight before we can approve of moving forward." Similarly, because he believes failure of the satellite system is not an option, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV) stated "The Committee will carefully review the Administration's efforts to restructure NPOESS."
To view the out year projections of the JPSS budget please click here.
-- Phillip Chalker
On March 10, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard L. Berman (D-CA) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced the Global Science Program for Security, Competitiveness, and Diplomacy Act (H.R. 4801). The legislation would authorize, among other things, the creation of a grant program for U.S. and foreign scientists to encourage research cooperation between universities. The bill also promotes efforts to support nuclear nonproliferation and would formalize the State Department's Science Envoy program created earlier this year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Jefferson Science Diplomacy Fellows program.
Although no specific funding levels are authorized for the Global Science grant program, the legislation authorizes the State Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop and promulgate guidelines for the solicitation of proposals that the National Science Foundation would evaluate through peer-review panels in collaboration with the State Department. The State Department would have the authority to determine which countries are eligible for the global science funds, but the legislation does list that eligible countries should include developing nations, Middle East countries, and those with a majority Muslim population.
The bill has been referred to the House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Research and Science Education.
-- Joanne Carney
Patent reform has reemerged on the congressional agenda after Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) announced a new deal on legislation that "preserves the core of the compromise" included in the bill the committee passed last year. The announcement came in hopes that a new bill would have the Senate floor votes to withstand a filibuster.
According to CongressDaily, the new draft bill includes alterations to the language dealing with challenges to patents, raising the threshold for initiating the re-examination of patents. It also limits the arguments third-party challengers to a patent can make in court—if they lose in a review, they can't later raise the same arguments. Additionally the draft would allow a patent owner to request a "supplemental examination, prior to the institution of litigation, to consider any information believed to be relevant to the patent," which could assist the patent holder in responding to certain challenges.
Committee leaders have been working for years to try to forge consensus on a patent reform bill amid vastly different stakeholders. The Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform, which represents large pharmaceutical groups and some tech manufacturers, announced its support for the latest version, as did some major labor unions like the AFL-CIO. However, the Coalition for Patent Fairness, made up of tech giants like Google, Apple and Intel, reacted negatively to the new deal, fearing it does not do enough to limit damages awarded in patent infringement cases. The Innovation Alliance, which represents smaller tech companies, decided to embrace the latest proposal, saying in a statement "this is not the bill we would have written, but … that is the nature of compromise."
Perhaps most relevant to university scientists is the stamp of approval from the Association of American Universities and five other higher education groups. In a letter, the groups wrote that over the past five years, "the Senate and House Judiciary Committees have been responsive to the interests and concerns of universities," noting that significant improvements have come in the legislation's post-grant review provisions.
Even if the bill were to get through the Senate, it faces challenges in the House: House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-TX) said in a statement that the Senate bill would need a "number of changes" before the House could consider it.
Meanwhile, two key patent cases have just come through the courts that may have significant implications for scientific research. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a ruling in Ariad Pharmaceuticals v. Eli Lilly and Company that may make it more difficult for scientists and engineers, particularly at academic institutions, to patent their basic research. The decision stated that "patents are not awarded for academic theories, no matter how groundbreaking or necessary to the later patentable inventions of others." Aware of the potential impacts of its decision, the court wrote: "Universities may not have the resources or the inclination to work out the practical implications" of their research, which could "disadvantage" them when seeking patents. A second case could cast doubt on the validity of gene patents if it is upheld. On March 29 a federal judge struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. A group led by the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the patents with a lawsuit in May. The group argued that genes, as products of nature, are not patentable, and that gene patents stifle outside research and limit patient choice when it comes to genetic tests. Myriad Genetics, the company that holds the patents at the heart of the case, argued that the work of isolating DNA transforms it and renders it patentable. The judge agreed with ACLU, putting a question mark on all gene patents, which cover roughly 20 percent of human genes.
-- Erin Heath
On March 16, the House Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Research and Education held a hearing on broadening participation of under-represented minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
In her opening remarks, Subcommittee Vice Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH) said that the United States will have a difficult time developing a well-trained STEM workforce if "it continues to overlook a significant part of the talent pool." She added that the nation must do a better job of fostering STEM, "especially because changing demographics mean that by 2050, 55% of the college population will be from groups that are currently minorities."
Witnesses included Shirley Malcolm, head of the AAAS Education and Human Resources Program; Alicia C. Dowd, co-director of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California; Keivan Stassun, co-director of the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge Program; David Yarlott, chair of the board of directors of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium; and Elaine Craft, director of the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education National Resource Center.
In her testimony, Shirley Malcolm noted that surveys have shown that recent increases in the number of under-represented minorities in physical science fields is not uniform: it has been driven by minorities pursuing degrees in chemistry, for example, while other fields such as physics reveal low participation rates. Furthermore, most of the improvements are being driven by minority women, while males are declining across many STEM fields.
Alicia Dowd noted that her research has found that while minority students may begin college as STEM majors at the same rate as non-minority students, they are less likely to remain a STEM major by the time they graduate and many switch to a non-science major. "We don’t face an aspirations gap," she said. "We need to figure out what is happening while they are on campus that causes them to leave STEM."
As an example, students at Fisk University – a predominantly African-American college – who study STEM fields are assisted through a program run by Stassun that allows them to transition to a Ph.D. program at Vanderbilt University. Stassun stated that faculty leadership "is the single most important factor related to STEM diversity."
Witnesses all emphasized that it is incumbent upon the federal government to continue to support federal programs that encourage broadening participation among under-represented minorities in STEM education. Stassun spoke to the importance of the National Science Foundation's "broader impacts" criteria on diversifying the STEM workforce and encouraged other federal agencies to adopt similar standards, an idea that was supported by the other witnesses. Malcolm added a further recommendation for NSF to consider grant applicants' previous results from broader impacts activities in addition to the applicants' previous research results.
Members and witnesses alike expressed concern about the National Science Foundation's proposal to consolidate several programs to address under-represented minorities in STEM. Yarlott questioned the ability of tribal colleges, which are typically "young, poor and geographically isolated," to compete for grants in a consolidated program.
Furthermore, witnesses argued that the U.S. must also improve K-12 STEM education to in order to better prepare all students to pursue undergraduate studies in science fields.
Malcolm said efforts to improve K-12 education will require leadership at the federal level in order to lay out a national vision for STEM education, in addition to an examination of science curricula "department by department, community by community" around the country in order to establish higher standards and rigorous curriculum.
-- Joanne Carney
None of the eight species of sharks (porbeagle, scalloped hammerhead, great hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, sandbar, oceanic whitetip, dusky, and spiny dogfish) that countries sought to include on a CITES list of protected species were afforded protection. Initially, the porbeagle shark was granted protection, but Asian nations managed to reopen debate and remove it from a list of protected species, saying regional fisheries could better manage protection. Hammerhead and whitetip populations have decreased up to 98 and 99 percent, respectively, in some areas.
Two different proposals banning the international trade of bluefin tuna also failed. Bluefin tuna populations have been reduced to about 18 percent of their preindustrial levels (see November 2009 STC Newsletter). Japan, which consumes roughly 80 percent of the world's bluefin, successfully lobbied against the ban and instead wants the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which tends to impose lax bluefin regulations, to control the trade of the tuna rather than CITES.
The conference also rejected a proposal to restrict the use of 31 species of red and pink coral, primarily from the Mediterranean, for jewelry. Coral catches have dropped from 450 tons a year in the mid 1980s to 50 tons and 30 percent of tropical coral species have disappeared.
The punishment for the illegal sale of tiger parts increased in severity. With only 3,200 tigers left in the wild and the population dwindling, countries thought further action was needed to protect the species. Measures include increased intelligence sharing across nations and the creation of an international database to track trade. The Rhinoceros was afforded similar protections and the sale of stockpiled elephant ivory was prohibited for at least the next three years.
Meanwhile, a proposal that would have made it illegal to trade parts from legally-killed polar bear was dismissed. Polar bears are already listed under CITES Appendix II, which strictly controls trade, but some countries, such as Canada, have legal takes and are able to sell the animal remains. The ban was sought to diminish the desire for polar bear parts which would decrease the number of polar bears killed as they face the strain of a shrinking habitat due to climate change.
A trade ban was approved for the Iranian Kaiser's spotted newt. Trade controls were placed on the Brazilian rosewood and Holywood trees, as well as several plants from Madagascar. From Latin America, four species of iguana, including the Guatemalan spiny tailed iguana, and a genus of tree frogs received protection. Both the Mexican Morelet's crocodile and the Nile crocodile were down listed from Appendix I to Appendix II. Appendix I prohibits all trade of a species, except in exceptional circumstances. Despite the appearance of fewer trade protections, there is a zero quota for trade of both crocodile species.
Additionally, a CITES committee endorsed an e-commerce proposal that would create measures to reduce the sale of CITES listed species and their parts via the internet, attempting to combat the growing illegal sale of CITES-listed animals and animal parts on the internet.
The next CITES meeting will be held in Bangkok in 2013.
-- Phillip Chalker
Quick status reports to keep you up to date on recent S&T bills and hearings.
On March 12, the House passed legislation to expand research on algal blooms and hypoxia in U.S. marine and fresh waters. The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2009 (H.R. 3650), sponsored by Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), would double authorizations for these research programs at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), up to $41 million a year. Similar legislation (S. 952) has been reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee.
By a vote of 335 to 50, the House passed the Natural Hazards Risk Reduction Act of 2009 (H.R. 3820) on March 2. The measure re-authorizes the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and would create a new Interagency Coordinating Committee on Natural Hazards Risk Reduction, chaired by the Director of NIST, to oversee NEHRP and other federal research for natural hazard mitigation. The measure awaits Senate consideration.
The Engineering Education for Innovation Act, intended to strengthen engineering education in K-12 schools, was recently introduced in the House (H.R.4709) by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and in the Senate (S.3043) by Sens. Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME). The bill would implement many of the recommendations of the recent National Academy of Engineering report Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects.
Rep. Don Young (R-AK) introduced the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act (H.R. 4847) on March 15. This bill is the House version of S. 782, which was reported favorably by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Committee on March 2 (see S. Rept. 111-133) and is pending before the full Senate. The bill would establish a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System within the U.S. Geological Survey. The legislation would authorize $15 million annually for a national volcano watch office, a national volcano data center; and an external grants program to support research in volcano monitoring science and technology.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee passed S.1252, a bill reauthorizing the Oceans and Human Health Initiative through 2014. OHHI sponsors a wide variety of research examining the interactions between human health and the marine environment.
On March 24, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved a far-reaching cybersecurity bill, S.773. This measure, sponsored by Chairman John Rockefeller (D-WV), would authorize cybersecurity R&D and workforce development through NIST and the NSF. It would also seek to improve coordination between the government and industry on cybersecurity issues, and increase government oversight of companies designated as "critical infrastructure." The bill now goes to the full Senate for further action.
The historic health care reform bill signed into law March 23 would create a new, independent, nonprofit comparative effectiveness research center supported by a Treasury trust fund and tasked with conducting and supporting research comparing medical therapies. The bill also would require drug companies to disclose gifts to physicians, part of a broader push to increase the transparency of potential conflicts of interest in the medical and scientific community. In addition, it would create a new program in the NIH director's office aimed at drug development.
The National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have announced an initiative designed to boost translational research—that is, to speed up the process of improving medical therapies as a result of scientific breakthroughs. The agency will establish a Joint NIH-FDA Leadership Council and will put nearly $7 million over three years toward regulatory science, which would focus on better approaches to evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medical products.
The National Institutes of Health plans to launch a registry of genetic tests next year. NIH will collect and make publicly available information on genetic tests—of which there are more than 1600—submitted voluntarily by test providers. The registry could, for example, allow doctors, researchers and patients to locate labs that offer particular genetic tests.
The White House released an interim report from the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, which is developing recommendations for adapting to climate change, both domestically and internationally. The draft, which examines climate impacts and key components of an adaptation strategy, is open for public comment until May 15. A final report is expected by October.
As part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to examine how the Clean Water Act could be used to address ocean acidification. EPA issued a notice in the March 22 Federal Register "soliciting input from the public on what considerations EPA should take into account when deciding how to address listing of waters as threatened or impaired for ocean acidification." Comments are due May 21.
On March 26 the White House issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on the best ways to commercialize federally-funded research, especially research conducted at U.S. universities. In addition, the White House is using the RFI to elicit thoughts on whether proof-of-concept centers such as the NSF Engineering Research Centers are an effective means for moving early-stage technologies into the development and commercialization phases of innovation. Public comments are due by April 26.
Under the authority of the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, on April 1, announced the formation of new guidelines that will require mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia to meet a stronger and more environmentally sound set of requirements. The new regulations would sharply curtail the practice of dumping rubble from mountaintop mining, which filled valleys and streams, leached toxins into the watershed, compromised water quality and destroyed ecosystems. Under current practices, the new requirements would all but eliminate mountaintop mining. The EPA has yet to solicit, but will be seeking public comments on the new guidelines.
The DOE's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Energy Future, co-chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, held its first public meeting in Washington D.C. on March 25-26. Addressing the members of the commission, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu emphasized that they must focus on the problems associated with "the back end of the fuel cycle," including fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste disposal. With the Administration's decision to scrap plans for the Yucca Mountain waste repository, crafting a viable long-term solution to this issue will be essential to enable the safe use of nuclear power. While the commission is not to address specific recommendations for disposal sites, it must deal on a general level with the problem of locating permanent waste repositories.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) director Patrick Gallagher announced to NIST employees the consolidation of eight existing laboratories into four new Operating Units (OUs): Material Measurement Laboratory, Physical Measurement Laboratory, Engineering Laboratory, and the Information Technology Laboratory. NIST will retain two of its current laboratories: the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology; and the Center for Neutron Research. This portion of the realignment should be completed by early May.
The Technology Innovation Program (RS22815)
Deforestation and Climate Change (R41144)
Ecosystem Concepts for Sustainable Bivalve Mariculture (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-14695-1)
Review of the Environmental Protection Agency's Draft IRIS Assessment of Tetrachloroethylene (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15094-1)
Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15145-0)
Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-14838-2)
NOAA's Education Program: Review and Critique (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15123-8)
Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15083-5)
Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15211-2)
Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15072-9)
Strategic Planning for the Florida Citrus Industry: Addressing Citrus Greening (ISBN-13: 978-0-309-15207-5)
Globalization of Science and Engineering Research: A Companion to Science and Engineering Indicators 2010
National Science Foundation
Why So Few?
American Association of University Women
Federal Climate Change Programs: Funding History and Policy Issues
Congressional Budget Office
ITIF Report: 8 Ideas for Improving the America COMPETES Act
The Informatition Technology & Innovatition Foundatition
USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center: Final Report on Outreach & Recommendations
Ecological Society of America and The Wildlife Society
Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2008-2010
IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, International Primatological Society and Conservation International
- Detection and attribution of climate change: a regional perspective
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
AAAS Hosts Congressional Briefing on R&D Budget. On March 16, AAAS, in conjunction with the Congressional Research and Development (R&D) Caucus, held a Congressional Luncheon Briefing on R&D in the FY 2011 Budget Request. Patrick Clemins, director of AAAS' R&D Budget and Policy Program, provided an overview of the budget request and its historical context. Presentation slides and further updates are available on the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program website at http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd.
AAAS Holds Briefing on Climate Change and the Political Landscape. AAAS joined with the American Meteorological Society and other scientific societies to hold a March 12 congressional briefing. Norman J. Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research; Michael Oppenheimer, Princeton University, and Jon A. Krosnick, Stanford University examined public perceptions of climate change, scientific understanding, and the current political landscape.
Mark your Calendar:
Innovating The Future: Critical Perspectives in Science & Technology
April 9-11, 2010
A multi-disciplinary graduate student conference addressing the ethical, legal, and social dimensions of timely science and technology issues such as policy-making, education, innovation, energy, information technology, health, and security, among others. Sponsored by AAAS, the National Academies, and the ST Global Consortium.
Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures: Dilemmas and Possibilities
April 15, 2010, 2 – 4 p.m.
Washington Court Hotel (525 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.20001)
When health care facilities respond to financial or political pressures in ways that adversely affect professional care and integrity, how should the professionals respond? What measures might policymakers, administrators, professionals, associations and unions take to protect professional integrity against external pressures? Join Moderator Bob Edwards, host, "The Bob Edwards Show" and Panelists Dr. Linda Green, MD, Associate Program Director, Prince George's Hospital Center; Dawn Hobdy, LICSW, Manager of the Office of Ethics and Professional Review at the National Association of Social Workers; and David Keepnews, PhD, JD, RN, FAAN, associate professor in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College, City University of New York to discuss these issues. RSVP online.
AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy
The 35th annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy will be held on May 13-14 at the International Trade Center in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. Keynote speakers include John P. Holdren and Linda Katehi and topical sessions will focus on the Societal Impacts of Science and Technology, Climate Change, Strengthening the U.S. Climate for Innovation, and National Security and the Roles for Science and Technology.
In an effort to understand how a marine mussel’s byssal threads secure the animal to a rock while still providing flexibility, scientists using high-powered microscopes discovered that the byssal threads were coated in dopa protein and metal ions. Dopa acts like a strong adhesive and allows flexibility while the metal ions give the byssal thread its strength. This research could lead to the creation of new industrial materials.
Harrington, Matthew. “Iron-Clad Fibers: A Metal-Based Biological Strategy for Hard Flexible Coatings." Science Express. March 3, 2010. Page 1/10.1126. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/rapidpdf/science.1181044v1.pdf