Programs: Science and Policy
Science and Technology in Congress
Call the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA, H.R. 493/S. 358) down but not out. In March, House leaders, frustrated by the Senate’s failure to vote on the bill after the House sent it on last spring, tacked GINA onto a major mental health parity bill (H.R. 1424). The House approved the bill 268-148.
Since the Senate passed its version of a mental health bill (S. 558) in September—without GINA—movers of the two bills must now negotiate. The talks have been billed as “Kennedy vs. Kennedy,” since the chief Democratic sponsors of the two bills are Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and his son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).
President Bush issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) favoring the Senate version, which was forged as a compromise with stakeholders including employers’ and health insurers’ groups. That version allows insurers a greater degree of flexibility to determine which mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders to cover.
The SAP specifically addressed GINA as well, saying that the White House supports the passage of genetic nondiscrimination legislation but has some concerns with the language of GINA as it stands. Those concerns include bringing the contents of the bill into closer alignment with relevant provisions in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Public Health Service Act and the Internal Revenue Code.
GINA’s chief bicameral sponsors, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), have been trying to shepherd versions of the bill through the legislature for more than a decade. For years, the House was the holdup, as the bill had to make its way through three committees: Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in both 2003 and 2005.
The tide shifted during the 110th Congress. GINA made it through the House committees and passed that chamber in April 2007. However, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), citing business-related concerns, decided to place one of his many holds on GINA, freezing it in place.
Democratic leaders toyed with attaching GINA to the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill, but dropped the idea to avoid presenting a bill with potential dealbreakers to President Bush, who had threatened to veto appropriations bills that did not adhere to his limits.
-- Erin HeathBACK TO TOP
Controversies, investigations, and subpoenas continue to trail the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this month. After announcing in a short letter to the state’s governor his decision to refuse a waiver that would grant greenhouse gas regulation rights to California, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson remained silent on the reasons for his decision for nearly two months. Johnson finally released a lengthy document outlining his rationale on February 29. The basis for Johnson’s argument is that the Clean Air Act allows the waiver to be granted if California wishes to address pollution at a local or state level. Since climate change is a global problem, the waiver would thus be inappropriate. The response on Capitol Hill from prominent Democrats and California legislators has been extremely critical, leading to another subpoena, more investigations, and several probing hearings.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) issued a second subpoena on March 13 to compel the agency to provide 196 documents related to the waiver decision that the agency has continued to withhold. The agency failed to meet its February 15 deadline to turn said documents into the committee for review; the Chairman sent a letter on March 10 requesting the tardy documents.
EPA’s resistance has led to several investigations into the agency’s overall global warming policies. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Ed Markey (D-MA) held a hearing March 13 questioning the agency’s unwillingness to release proposals to regulate vehicle emissions, as directed by the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v EPA. Though the Administrator agreed to testify at the hearing, he refused to divulge any documents pertaining to these decisions. In a letter to Johnson a day before the hearing, Waxman also expressed concerns about reports indicating that the agency had stopped efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions after determining that greenhouse gas emissions endanger human health. Both committee chairs have said that they will press on with investigations on this matter, and additional hearings are likely.
In related EPA news, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this month suggesting that the decision to close agency libraries was not justified and could significantly cut public access to vital environmental data. The report also indicates that the process by which EPA made the decision was unsound. The House Science and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight also held a hearing on March 13 to explore issues raised by the GAO report and heard from EPA Chief Information Officer Molly O’Neill.
In EPA’s defense, O’Neill assured the subcommittee that the agency is working on a report to Congress that “will describe the agency’s plans to ensure on-site support in each EPA Region, the EPA Headquarters Library, and the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) Chemical Library.” She also noted that the EPA is committed to improving public access to its libraries and soliciting input on how it can further improve its services.
-- Lina Karaoglanova
Senate leaders are now planning to bring the Patent Reform Act (S. 1145) to the floor after the March recess. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported the bill in July of last year, and the House passed its version (H.R. 1908) in September (see S&T in Congress 10/07).
Both bills attempt to make a range of changes in order to overhaul the U.S. patent system. However, stakeholders in the pharmaceutical and information technology sectors disagree over how a revamped system should calculate infringement damages, and thus, the legislation has reached a stalemate as both camps vociferously argue their position.
While House and Senate chambers try to reach a compromise, new concerns about the system continue to come to the forefront. Business and high-tech groups recently urged the Supreme Court to allow patent infringement suits against states to be brought before federal courts without state approval.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property held an oversight hearing in February on the existing backlog at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and discussed options to move patents more efficiently through the examination process.
A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in September of 2007 found that USPTO’s annual hiring estimate — based on available funding levels — does not sufficiently take into account the attrition rates that the office is likely to experience.
Several witnesses at the hearing argued that unrealistic production goals are in large part responsible for low employee retention rates. Examiners are currently held to the same standards for work output as they were 30 years ago, despite the fact that the technical complexity of patent applications has increased dramatically over that time period.
The GAO noted in its testimony that retention incentives and flexibilities instituted by the USPTO over the last five years seem to be the primary draws for hires who do decide to stay with the agency, according to a GAO survey.
Undersecretary Jon Dudas, Director of USPTO noted that the attrition rate at the USPTO is lower (8.5 percent) than the average rate for federal employees (11.2 percent) and described efforts to attract and retain employees.
-- Alexis Walker
The House Science and Technology Committee turned fifty this month, marking its creation after the threat of Sputnik by holding a hearing to discuss U.S. innovation. In his opening remarks, Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) stated, “The launch of Sputnik and the beginning of the ‘space race’ began a period of unprecedented investment in research and math and science education in this country, resulting in the development of new technologies and the advancement of innovation. … Today, with the rapid economic and technological advances of other countries, I fear we are now on the cusp of another Sputnik moment. I fear that our country has coasted on the investments we made 50 years ago.”
The committee celebrated by receiving what was likely the last testimony of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates before he retires from his position this summer. Gates emphasized the significant role Congress, the Bush Administration, and the next president play in maintaining the U.S. position as a global leader in innovation. Specifically, he highlighted essential reforms in education and immigration policy as well as the need for increased funding of scientific research and development.
Gates noted that at the fourth grade level, U.S. students test among the top in the world in science and math, yet by the end of high school they rank among the lowest of industrialized nations. In response to Gates’ argument that the United States must develop better metrics to measure the success of students and teachers, Gordon raised the problem of teachers “teaching to the test.” Gates argued that tests look at fundamental skills, implying that tests may not be as problematic as many parties make them out to be.
Gates also testified that more H-1B visas must be offered, but even more importantly, that scholars must be given greater opportunity to remain in this country after they are educated here. It makes no sense, he argued, to educate individuals and then force them to leave. When students abroad perceive that there are only minimal chances that they will be allowed to stay in the United States for work after their studies, it affects their decisions on where to study.
On the issue of immigration, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) argued that bringing in specialists from abroad not only allows industry leaders such as Gates to keep wages down but also robs Americans of jobs. Gates countered that these educated individuals are going to be working somewhere, and so our nation should encourage them to stay and “drive innovation and economic growth alongside America’s native-born talent.”
Throughout the hearing, the Microsoft giant stressed the importance of appropriating funds for the America COMPETES Act, a point echoed by Gordon and Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX). By and large, amicable interchanges characterized the hearing and committee members stressed that they are already working on many of the problems that Gates identified.
The budget woes of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are well documented (see S&T in Congress 11/07 and 12/07), and in late February, in response to a request from House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats, members of a panel assembled by the FDA’s science board released estimates of the funding necessary to enable the agency to manage its responsibilities. This panel—the same one that put out a November report, FDA Science and Mission at Risk, on agency shortfalls—recommended a cash infusion of $375 million in fiscal year (FY) 2009 (substantially more than the President’s budget request) and $2.2 billion over five years. $128 million of the FY09 boost should go to food safety, the panel said, in contrast to the $42 million increase proposed in the administration’s request.
A couple of weeks later Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) listed food safety as one of his priorities for the April-May work period. This would take a significant amount of work, as a comprehensive bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate, though such a bill could draw from the import safety measure that House Energy and Commerce Democrats introduced in September. FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach has publicly called on Congress to expand FDA powers to police the nation’s food supply.
The record of FDA-approved drugs such as Heparin, a blood-thinner linked to four deaths, and the antibiotic Ketek also continue to provoke congressional ire. FDA investigators recently announced that an unapproved ingredient found its way into Heparin during its production in a Chinese facility—a facility that the FDA had failed to inspect. Safety concerns have prompted the State Department recently to approve the agency’s stationing of eight staff members at diplomatic posts in China.
Ketek, meanwhile, has caused controversy not just for its connection to patient liver failure and death but for von Eschenbach’s testimony on it, which some Energy and Commerce Committee members charge may have contained false statements. The committee threatened HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt with contempt after Leavitt initially declined to provide the documents related to the testimony, but Leavitt ultimately gave in to committee demands.
Meanwhile, a report from Energy and Commerce Republicans has documented cases in which the FDA failed to debar researchers and drugmakers convicted of crimes related to the drug approval process. Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and John Shimkus (R-IL) have asked the General Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the issue further.
In related news, as expected, House Energy and Commerce Committee members Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Barton proposed a bill on generic biologics, which are complex drugs derived from natural sources (see S&T in Congress 07/07). The bill would give drugmakers 12 years of upfront exclusivity on biologic drugs, like the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last summer. Reps. Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) also have biologics bills. Health Subcommittee leaders Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Nathan Deal (R-GA) are working with committee members to try to develop a consensus measure.
-- Erin Heath
Efforts to limit federal spending on earmarks, appropriations requests for specific projects, again failed to generate any committed legislative action when on March 13 both houses of Congress voted against measures that would have eliminated them from the 2009 budget. These defeats came despite vocal support from prominent members of both houses, including all three presidential candidates.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the prospective Republican nominee for the presidency, has been an outspoken critic of earmarks and recently made science a target by identifying a federally funded program to study grizzly bears in Montana as an example of what he considers wasteful spending.
Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY), the two leading candidates from the Democratic Party, have also voiced their support for an earmark moratorium and were among only five democratic senators voting in favor of the Senate resolution, which failed 29-71. Obama recently disclosed his earmark requests to the public by posting them on the Internet and called on Clinton to do the same.
Opponents of the moratorium argue that earmarks are part of the constitutional right of members of Congress to make decisions on federal appropriations and to directly provide for the needs of their constituents.
Genetic Exceptionalism: Genetic Information and Public Policy (RL34376)
This report defines genetic exceptionalism as the premise that genetic information is unique and therefore merits both special and different—“exceptional”—treatment. Legislation on issues such as genetic privacy, genetic discrimination in health insurance, and genetic discrimination in employment is seen as taking a genetic exceptionalist approach. Congressional consideration of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007 (H.R. 493/S. 358) spurred CRS to, with this report, provide an overview of the nature of genetic information and its implications for individuals, family, and society. The report summarizes the main policy issues involved with a genetic exceptionalist approach to public policy, such as defining genetic information, physically separating genetic information from other medical information, unintended disparities between "genetic" and "nongenetic" disease, and the effect of legislation on participation in genetic research, on uptake of genetic technology and on the delivery of high quality health care.
America COMPETES Act: Programs, Funding, and Selected Issues (RL34328)
This report provides a summary of the programs of the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 2272), passed by Congress in August of last year and signed into law (P.L. 110-69) by the President during that month as well. The act authorizes an increase in the nation's investment in science and engineering research and in STEM education from kindergarten to graduate school and postdoctoral education and also establishes the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and Discovery Science and Engineering Innovation Institutes. In addition, it authorizes increases in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) laboratories, and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science over FY2008-FY2010—a slightly shorter period than that provided by the Administration's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), which would double them over ten years instead of seven. The report points out that the funding landscape for the act this year is much different than that of the previous fiscal year, because Congress has now authorized the America COMPETES Act programs prior to the initial stages of budget planning.
Botnets, Cybercrime, and Cyberterrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress (RL32114)
This report summarizes the recent rise and sophistication of cybercrime in the world and its threats to the United States. Terrorists and drug traffickers have reportedly been enlisting the services of cybercriminals to support and perpetrate their illegal activities. Botnets, networks of remotely-controlled, infected computers that can be used to disrupt computer systems, have become a prevalent tool in cybercrime. Botnets are expected to become much more sophisticated in the near future and may be able to overcome cybercrime-countermeasures employed by the United States and other nations. This report outlines the kinds of options available to terrorists or enemy nations that wish to disrupt critical United States infrastructure. It also identifies scenarios of coordinated cycber-attacks on the United States.
Coast Guard Polar Icebreaker Modernization: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress (RL34391)
This report provides an account of the Coast Guard’s three icebreaker ships and their current condition. Two of the three ships have surpassed their 30 year service lives. The Coast Guard has begun investigating possible replacements for the outdated vessels. New vessels may become available as late as 8 to 10 years from now, which could jeopardize the agency’s ability to carry out its polar operations. Replacement vessels are estimated to cost between $800 million to $925 million each. The Coast Guard also has the option of extending the lives of the existing fleet for another 25 years at the cost of around $400 million per ship. Some of the critical policy issues that Congress must consider include how many ships the Coast Guard should have in its fleet, the capabilities of the fleet, and whether the Coast Guard’s acquisition schedule should be sped up.
FDA Fast Track and Priority Review Programs (RS22814)
This report reviews the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) process of approving new drugs to be sold in the market, a process that on average takes about 15 years from initial development to market introduction. The most common mechanisms that the agency uses to process drug applications that tackle unmet needs are Accelerated Approval, Fast Track, and Priority Review. The first two mechanisms work with pre-market development drugs. Conversely, Priority Review only deals with an application's place in the review process. The purpose of these three systems is to accelerate the approval process and make approval of the application more likely. The study notes that applications under the Fast Track mechanism receive, on average, faster approval than under the other mechanisms. The report summarizes all three of these mechanisms.
The Bali Agreement and Forests (RS22806)
Discussions in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007 led to an action plan and a decision to slowing global climate change. A major issue addressed was the need to lower the rate of deforestation world wide, which is known to increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Reducing deforestation, especially in developing countries, is seen as an important step toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This report examines sections of the Bali Action Plan that discusses forests, its provisions and limitations. The report underscores the important role that the World Bank can play in reducing deforestation and its rather unclear record in avoiding such actions in developing countries. The report also hints that the current financial mechanisms intended to reduce deforestation may not be flexible enough to deal with diverse situations of deforestation in different countries.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget, and Issues for Congress (RS22818)
This report summarizes the FY 2009 budget proposal for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The report indicates that the total budget proposal is $17.614 billion, an increase of 1.8% from the FY 2008 appropriation of $17.309 billion. Key issues that Congress should focus on include the Vision for Space Exploration. The implementations of this initiative include the development of new vehicles for human spaceflight in the post-space shuttle era. The agency’s ability to maintain and balance its budget between the human space exploration initiative and the agency's other activities in science and aeronautics is a key issue. The report outlines the various details of the budget proposal as well as short summaries of NASA’s key program areas.
Lighting Efficiency Standards in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: Are Incandescent Light Bulbs "Banned"? (RS22822)
This report summarizes the energy efficiency provisions of the recently passed Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, specifically as they relate to the ban on incandescent light bulbs. The law requires light bulb efficiency standards to increase incrementally over the next few decades. Some have argued that these new standards will reduce overall need to build additional coal plants, which are heavy greenhouse gas emitters. The newly passed law does not completely ban incandescent light bulbs; rather it imposes stricter efficiency standards that must be met if the incandescent bulbs are to stay in the market. Some producers have said that they will be able to continue their production and make the bulbs more efficient.
Environmental Protection: EPA Needs to Ensure That Best Practices and Procedures Are Followed When Making Further Changes to Its Library Network (GAO-08-304)
This report examines the status and progress the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making in developing the procedure for reorganizing its network of libraries. While it is in the process of developing its agency-wide library procedures, it has placed a moratorium on any further changes made to libraries. The initial basis for reorganizing the libraries was to reduce costs and increase coordination among the individual libraries. However, the EPA did not follow the proper procedure when making its decision. In fact, it did not inform the public or its own staff of the decision until after it had been made. The report notes that the agency has not developed a post-reorganization strategy to guarantee steady library services, nor has the agency been able to identify the full effect of the reorganization on library services. In addition, the report suggests that the EPA lacks the procedures that would allow the agency to measure performance and monitor user needs.
Aviation and the Environment: FAA's and NASA's Research and Development Plans for Noise Reduction Are Aligned but the Prospects of Achieving Noise Reduction Goals Are Uncertain (GAO-08-384)
This report examines the progress and future of aviation noise reduction research and development (R&D), a joint responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The two agencies have developed a strategic plan to reduce aviation noise in order to reduce community resistance and improve the efficiency of air traffic. The report suggests that the plan is well coordinated between the two agencies, and has a goal to reduce aviation noise by 4 percent a year through 2012. However, the report identifies factors within the plan that render the outcome tentative. These include technological hurdles that may be linked to concerns over global warming, uncertain budgets in the long term, and private sector cooperation with new technology guidelines that may be expensive. The report notes that these impediments must be surmounted if airspace capacity is to be expanded to reduce congestion.
Natural Resource Management: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Federal Participation in Collaborative Efforts to Reduce Conflicts and Improve Natural Resource Conditions (GAO-08-262)
Conflicts over America’s natural resources have led land managers to adopt cooperative strategies to resolve resource conflicts. This report investigates the effectiveness of Cooperative Conservation efforts and any challenges that agencies may encounter when pursuing such strategies. The report suggests that cooperative management plans that involve public and private stakeholders have worked effectively to manage natural resources and reduce litigation. This has led to better resource conditions. However, the report notes that little data is available or collected on this issue. Therefore, the effect these strategies have on natural resource management and land conservation is difficult assess with certainty.
Evaluating Research Efficiency in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ISBN-10: 0-309-11684-8)
This report identifies the difficulties of measuring efficiency of research programs at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recommends changes to the way the federal government assesses program efficiency. The report suggests the following four modifications to the federal evaluation process: (1) efficiency should only be one part of the evaluation; (2) there should be a difference in the way "investment efficiency" and "process efficiency" are evaluated; (3) there should be more importance placed on intermediate outcomes rather than ultimate outcomes of research programs; and (4) the efficiency of EPA's research programs should be evaluated according to the same standards used at other agencies.
Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States (ISBN-10: 0-309-11361-X)
This report looks at the impacts of corn-based biofuels production on water resources. It suggests that if new techniques are not employed, water quality and water supply problems could arise. The report finds that agricultural shifts to growing corn and expanding biofuel crops into regions with little agriculture could change current irrigation practices and greatly increase pressure on water resources in many parts of the United States. In addition, biofuel production could negatively impact groundwater quality due to increases in fertilizer and pesticide use. The report identifies a number of techniques, such as controlled release fertilizers, that would alleviate some of these problems. Another problem the report identifies is the large quantities of water used by biofuel refineries. However, the report also notes that refineries have become more efficient with their water use and should continue to do so.
Origin and Evolution of Earth: Research Questions for a Changing Planet (ISBN-10: 0-309-11886-7)
This report identifies ten questions that are driving geological and planetary sciences and reflect the major scientific issues addressed in the 21st century and where the field is headed. The questions include: how did earth and other planets form? What happened during earth’s Dark Age (the first 500 million years)? How did life begin? How does earth’s interior work, and how does it effect the surface? Why does earth have plate tectonics and continents? How are earth processes controlled by material properties? What causes climate to change – and how much can it change? How has life shaped earth – and how has earth shaped life? Can earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and their consequences be predicted? And, how do fluid flow and transport affect the human environment?
Centers for Disease Control
Public Health Preparedness: Mobilizing State by State
This inaugural report on public health emergency preparedness by CDC's Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response (COTPER) highlights the progress that has been made in state and local emergency preparedness and response, identifies preparedness challenges facing public health departments, and outlines CDC's efforts to address those challenges.
Protecting Patients, Preserving Integrity, Advancing Health: Accelerating the Implementation of COI Policies in Human Subjects Research.
This report released by the Association of American Universities and the Association of American Medical Colleges calls on all medical schools and major research universities to develop and implement institutional conflict-of-interest (COI) policies within the next two years, and to refine standards for addressing individual financial COI.
Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy
Nuclear Forensics: Role, State of the Art, Program Needs
The primary purpose of this report is to provide the Congress, U.S. government agencies and other institutions involved in nuclear forensics with a clear unclassified statement of the state of the art of nuclear forensics; an assessment of the field’s potential for preventing and identifying unattributed nuclear attacks; and specifications of the policies, resources and human talent needed to fulfill that potential.
A Broken Pipeline? Flat Funding of the NIH Puts a Generation of Science at Risk
A group of university leaders has released a second report on the negative impacts of flat funding for NIH, this one focusing on young researchers. “A Broken Pipeline” profiles twelve junior investigators with solid resumes who nevertheless are facing funding troubles. The report stresses the dire consequences of creating a discouraging atmosphere in biomedical research, arguing that only a short period with a difficult funding landscape can mean long-term damage to the field through loss of bright minds to other fields and industries.
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AAAS Expands Cooperative Ties with Vietnam with Newly Signed Agreement
AAAS inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the leading Vietnamese S&T policy think tank, the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS).With a new joint agreement, AAAS has strengthened its ties with science and technology leaders of Vietnam, a country with a dynamic and rapidly developing economy. The memo formalizes the Association's plans to "collaborate in the advancement of science, technology, and innovation policy and studies," and to pursue joint activities. (February 27, 2008)
AAAS Holds FY 2009 R&D Budget Briefing
The Center for Science, Technology and Congress held a congressional luncheon briefing in conjunction with the House Research and Development Caucus. Attendees heard opening remarks by Research and Development Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Rush Holt. AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program Director Kei Koizumi presented the Administration's R&D budget proposal for FY 2009. (March 13, 2008)
AAAS Submits Written Testimony on FY 2009 R&D Budget Request
AAAS CEO Alan Leshner submitted a written testimony to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation commenting on the President's FY 2009 R&D budget proposal. Leshner applauded increased funding for science agencies part of the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), but expressed concern for the flat or decreasing funding other science agencies, including biological, are facing. (March 11, 2008)
Science, 7 March 2008; Vol. 319. no. 5868, pp. 1357 - 1362