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Science Policy Updates

The Office of Government Relations publishes a weekly e-newsletter, the AAAS Policy Alert, which provides an inside look at policies affecting science and technology and the S&T community to AAAS members.


Excerpt from the 10/02/18 AAAS Policy Alert:

Shutdown Averted: Defense, Health Spending Finalized for FY 2019. Last week, the House adopted, and then President Trump signed, the FY 2019 Defense/Labor-HHS spending package. As previously reported, the package provides a $2 billion, or 5 percent, increase for the National Institutes of Health and even larger relative increases for Department of Defense research programs. The package also contains a continuing resolution to avoid a shutdown and extend current funding to December 7. Several research agencies — including the National Science Foundation and NASA — will have to wait until after the midterms to receive a final appropriation for FY 2019.


Excerpt from the 9/25/18 AAAS Policy Alert:

CRS Reports Now Public. Last week, the Congressional Research Service launched a new website designed to make more of its nonconfidential reports public. CRS serves as an in-house think tank, conducting analysis and research for Members of Congress and their staffs on a wide range of policy issues.


Excerpt from the 9/18/18 AAAS Policy Alert:

Survey on International Movement and survey conducted by RAND Europe asked 2,465 researchers from 109 countries about their experiences with visiting or relocating to other countries for research-related purposes. More than 75 percent of respondents had moved to live in another country for research training or work at some point during their career. Nearly all respondents to the survey stated that international movement had helped in forming collaborations and developing ideas, skills and expertise, and many questioned how changes to the United States’ immigration and visa policies and ‘Brexit’ may affect scientists’ travel into and out of the U.S. and the U.K. to participate in research or scientific conferences. The survey concluded that “The benefits of international movement are felt by all, but obstacles to movement are currently felt disproportionately by some. Widening the accessibility of international movement would help research to flourish and strengthen research systems.”

The online survey was commissioned by Together Science Can, an international initiative to “highlight and protect international scientific collaborations,” and the Wellcome Trust. AAAS is a partner organization in the Together Science Can campaign.


Excerpt from the 9/11/18 AAAS Policy Alert:

Legislators Release Energy / Veterans Spending Agreement. Late on Monday, September 10, congressional negotiators unveiled their bipartisan agreement on a package of three bills to fund the Departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs and several other agencies in FY 2019, three weeks before the end of the fiscal year. The bill provides a 5.2 percent increase for DOE’s Office of Science with emphasis on advanced computing; a 23.7 percent increase for the department’s new grid cyber security and resilience office;and a 10 percent increase for the Once of Nuclear Energy. The bill also includes more moderate increases for fossil energy R&D, energy efficiency, and renewables R&D. In nearly all cases the bill departs from White House-recommended spending reductions. In addition, the bill preserves the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy and the department’s innovation hubs and manufacturing institutes from elimination, as expected.Within the Department of Veterans Affairs, the bill provides a 7.9 percent increase for medical and prosthetic research, for a total of $779 million. Visit the AAAS Appropriations Dashboard for additional details. The House and Senate are currently expected to vote on the final package late this week, barring complications from Hurricane Florence.