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May 2016 Public Policy News

3 June 2016: House Passes National Defense Authorization Act, Debates ‘Star Wars’ Sequel: Last month, the House passed its version of the annual defense policy bill. The legislation contains various controversial components, including a provision which directs the Missile Defense Agency to begin development of a space-based missile defense system. Read more

27 May 2016: COMPETES Update: Senate Holds Hearing, Bill Expected Soon: After declining to take up the contentious America COMPETES bill that the House passed narrowly last spring, the Senate appears close to releasing its bipartisan take on the bill. Read more

26 May 2016: House Appropriations Committee Proposes Lackluster Research Spending at NSF, NIST, NASA, NOAA: About one month after the Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation with middling spending for four of the main science agencies in fiscal year 2017, the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week cleared its bill and committee report. Like in the Senate, the House committee includes no significant spending increases for the four agencies’ research accounts. Read more

26 May 2016: NIST, Partners Create Standard to Improve Sustainable ManufacturingA public-private team led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has created a new international standard that can “map” the critically important environmental aspects of manufacturing processes, leading to significant improvements in sustainability while keeping a product’s life cycle low cost and efficient. Read more

20 May 2016: NIST and Stanford Launch Long-Term Measurement Initiative to Boost the US Bio-EconomyThe US Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Stanford University announced today that they are embarking on a long-term partnership to develop the measurement capabilities central to research, innovation and commercialization in a budding bio-economy of products and services in sectors ranging from health care to energy to electronics.  Read more

20 May 2016: DOE Lab Directors Converge in Washington for Science Lab Day on the HillDirectors from the Department of Energy’s national labs descended on Capitol Hill last month for a fourth “Lab Day,” this time with a focus on science. Read more

19 May 2016: Obama Honors Nine Scientists with National Medal of Science: At a White House ceremony, the President awarded the National Medal of Science to nine recipients, including physicist and president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shirley Ann Jackson. Read more

18 May 2016: US Research Groups Going to War Again Over Small Business Funding: Advocates for small businesses and the US research community are once again at loggerheads over pending legislation to expand a multibillion-dollar federal program that promotes commercialization of academic research. Read more

10 May 2016: US Signs Global Climate Change Agreement that Draws on Climate Science: Last month the US signed an ambitious but non-binding global climate change agreement which Secretary of State John Kerry and other international leaders negotiated under the auspices of the U.N. in Paris last December. The deal leans on the “best available science” as a guidepost for nations’ future greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Read more

6 May 2016: NOAA and DOD Piloting Commercial Sources of Weather DataLed by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), the House is calling on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense to look into utilizing commercial sources of space-based weather data to augment the nation’s weather forecasting capabilities. Read more