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Latest Public Policy News

Announcing the AAAS FY 2018 R&D Appropriations Dashboard: The American Association for the Advancement of Science R&D Budget and Policy Program have developed an interactive dashboard for following Congressional appropriations for science agencies and programs. The dashboard is set up to compare relative changes in the major funding accounts proposed by the White House and recommended by House and Senate appropriators (only White House figures are in there at the moment). The dashboard will be updated on at least a weekly basis, and as close to real-time updates as possible.  Learn More

6 June 2017: House Science Committee Delves into Research Overhead Costs: In late May, the House Science Committee held a hearing to explore federal policies for funding the costs of research overhead, focusing on the National Science Foundation. The subject has come to the fore in the wake of the Trump administration's proposal to cap overhead reimbursement on National Institutes of Health grants.  Read More

1 June 2017: Trump Announces Withdrawal from Paris Agreement: President Trump announced plans to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change Thursday, a move that will weaken a key international measure aimed at fighting global warming and isolate the U.S. on an issue of importance to allies across the globe.  Read More

1 June 2017: SPIE Supports International Day of Light to Promote Awareness of Life-Saving, Life-Enhancing Light: With the support of photonics companies and associations including SPIE, the Executive Board of UNESCO has endorsed the annual observance of an International Day of Light. The yearly event will provide a focal point for the appreciation of the role that light plays in science, culture, education, and sustainable development, in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.  Read More

25 May 2017: STEM Funding Uncertain in Trump White House: When it comes to boosting science, technology, engineering and math, the news from Washington isn't good. While the Trump administration has showed some signs of prioritizing STEM, federal programs that support STEM initiatives are on the chopping block under the president's recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2018.  Read More

23 May 2017: Proposed U.S. Budget Cuts for Science and Technology Funding Spark Comment: Federal funding for basic and applied scientific research — a powerful driver of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other vital technologies — deserves continued support, say leaders of SPIE. They joined others in the scientific community today in responding to the President's budget request for Fiscal Year 2018.  Read More

23 May 2017: National Photonics Initiative Opposes Sweeping Cuts to Science R&D in the President's Budget Proposal: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, released the following statement today in response to the release of President Trump's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget proposal.  Read More

23 May 2017: First Notes: AAAS Analysis of FY 2018 Science Budget: Trump Administration's proposal would make historically large spending reductions for science and technology funding.  Read More

19 May 2017: DOD Research Leaders Seek Facility Improvements and Freedom from Red Tape: Earlier this month, two Senate subcommittee hearings addressed R&D and innovation at the Defense Department. Witnesses praised DOD's existing innovation policies and department laboratories' special administrative authorities. But they pressed for better access to military construction funds and described the administrative barriers that prevent lab leaders from fully using their authorities.  Read More

18 May 2017: Science and Academic Groups Raise New Concerns about Visa Vetting Plan: Dozens of scientific and academic groups are raising concerns and urging the State Department to provide additional details about a proposed rule that would subject tens of thousands of visa applicants deemed to warrant more stringent scrutiny to additional vetting procedures.  Read More

18 May 2017: Final FY17 Appropriations: DOE Applied Energy R&D: The final appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2017 increases funding for the Energy Department's applied energy offices and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, a demonstration of congressional support for a set of programs the Trump administration has targeted for deep cuts.  Read More

10 May 2017: Final FY17 Appropriations: National Institutes of Standards and Technology: The final appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2017 cuts the budget of the National Institute of Standards and Technology by 1 percent, attributable to a $10 million rollback in the agency's construction budget. The rest of the NIST budget remains essentially the same as before.  Read More

9 May 2017: Final FY17 Appropriations: National Institutes of Health: The final appropriations law for fiscal year 2017 provides a 6.2 percent increase for the National Institutes of Health. The institutes most associated with the physical sciences all receive funding boosts.  Read More

8 May 2017: Final FY17 Appropriations: Department of Defense: The final appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2017 provides a 3.6 percent increase for the Defense Department's Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation activities. Within that, funding for basic research is cut by 1.4 percent, applied research is increased by 6 percent, and advanced technology development is increased by 13.1 percent.  Read More

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