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Space sciences

With the Middle East rocked by intense and sometimes violent protest focused on the United States, the new issue of Science & Diplomacy includes a trio of articles that explore the value of engagement based on shared interests in science and technology.

AAAS supports the proposed International Science and Technology Cooperation (ISTC) Act, which would establish an interagency committee, under the direction of the National Science and Technology Council, to coordinate and improve the efficiency of U.S. research efforts.

The proposed U.S. House of Representatives’ 2013 budget, though unlikely to gain Senate approval, sets a baseline for deep cuts to federal research and development spending for energy and other non-defense areas, according to a new AAAS analysis.

Specifically, the House budget would reduce total spending in key areas by 5% and total R&D by 3% below President Barack Obama’s requested budget of $142.2 billion for fiscal year 2013, said Matt Hourihan, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program.

President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget request includes modest increases in R&D funding for several agencies but as a share of the total federal budget, R&D investment would fall to its lowest level in more than 50 years, AAAS’s chief budget analyst told a Capitol Hill briefing.

Dan Pearce—an engineer, architect, general contractor, and artist—is enjoying a circuitous career. He spent nearly a decade as an aerospace engineer at NASA in Houston and then he moved with his wife as she pursued an academic career at the University of Virginia.

Not finding many aerospace engineering opportunities in his new hometown of Charlottesville, Pearce became involved in other projects, including building a solar-powered house for his family and creating unusual sculptures.