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August 2017 Public Policy News

17 August 2017: Trump's First List of Science Priorities Ignores Climate — and Departs from His Own Budget Request: President Trump has translated his campaign promise to "make America great again" into his administration's first blueprint for federal investment in science and technology. The White House issued a memo telling federal agencies that their research dollars should be focused on delivering short-term dividends in strengthening national defense and border security, the economy, and "energy dominance," as well as improving public health.   Read More

10 August 2017: Defense Department Reorganization Aims to Foster 'Culture of Innovation': In a new report, the Defense Department outlines its plan to reform the organizational structure of its research and engineering activities, in compliance with the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. A principal aim of the reorganization is to foster a more risk-tolerant culture of innovation.  Read More

9 August 2017: FY18 Appropriations Bills: National Institute of Standards and Technology: The House spending bill for the Department of Energy proposes to halve the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, changes that would upend the department's later-stage R&D activities. Both House and Senate spending bills also propose a range of less drastic funding cuts to DOE's other applied energy offices.  Read More

7 August 2017: FY18 Appropriations Bills: DOE Applied Energy: Following the British General Elections, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Photonics reconstituted in London to continue its business. In their dealings with the UK Government, future emphasis will be placed on the bridging the technical skills gap as well as enabling the group to highlight the role of photonics in ongoing parliamentary business such as legislation on e.g., driverless cars.  Read More

3 August 2017: FY18 Appropriations Bills: NASA: The House appropriations bill for NASA would raise the Science Mission Directorate's $5.77 billion budget by 2 percent, while the Senate bill would cut it by 3 percent. As in previous years, the appropriations committees take opposing stances on funding for the Earth Science and Planetary Science Divisions.  Read More

2 August 2017: FY18 Appropriations Bills: National Science Foundation: The House appropriations bill for the National Science Foundation would maintain funding for the agency's research and education directorates at current levels, while the Senate bill would decrease both by 2 percent.  Read More

2 August 2017: Trump's DOE Under Secretary Nominees Could Reshape Department's R&D Strategy: Paul Dabbar and Mark Menezes, President Trump's nominees for the two open under secretary positions in the Department of Energy, are awaiting confirmation. DOE is currently considering reconfiguring the positions' responsibilities, with potential implications for how the department coordinates its R&D portfolio.  Read More.

1 August 2017: Science Funding Holds as Congress Begins Recess: Where Are We and What's Left to Do?: Congress made rapid progress on appropriations in June and July following a late start, but there's still a long way to go, with some major decisions yet to be made – including what to do about science and technology (S&T) funding. With the House heading into the annual August recess and the Senate soon to follow, here's a look at how things have shaped up, and where they might go.  Read More

1 August 2017: Optics and Photonics Recognized by Senate Committee in Context of Export Controls: A report in a US Senate bill proposing funding levels for science, commerce, and justice agencies includes encouraging language backed by SPIE recognizing the importance of optics and photonics to the US economy and the need for well-written regulations on export of optics and photonics technologies and components.  Read More

1 August 2017: AIM Photonics' Ed White Named Chair of National Photonics Initiative: The National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, formally announced that Edward ('Ed') White, associate vice president of Test, Assembly and Packaging and corporate outreach for AIM Photonics, will succeed Alan Willner as chair of the NPI Steering Committee. White, who has served on the NPI Steering Committee since December 2015, will assume his new role as chair effective immediately.  Read More

21 July 2017: Senate FY18 Appropriations Preserve Investment in Key Science Programs: Senate appropriators moved this week to rise above some of the steep spending reductions included in President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal that threaten to weaken the nation's science and technology enterprise and blunt the economic benefits that science programs deliver.  Read More

19 July 2017: Funding for Flagship European R&D Program Should Double, Report Says: A new report from a high-level advisory group to the European Union (EU) calls for doubling funding of the successor to Horizon 2020, the seven-year, €77 billion ($88 billion) research program that will end in three years.  Read More

18 July 2017: Photonics Impacts and Workforce Training Needs Chosen as Emphases of All-Party Parliamentary Group: The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Photonics (APPGP) will emphasize the wide-ranging and innovation-driving role of light-based technologies and the need for workforce training in the field, the group determined in a recent meeting.  Read More

14 July 2017: National Photonics Initiative Statement in Support of Science Amendments to NDAA: The leadership of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI), an alliance of top scientific societies uniting industry and academia to raise awareness of photonics, released a statement in support of two amendments – one amendment introduced by Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and another amendment by Reps. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) – included in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Read More

11 July 2017: Trump Visa Policy Changes Could Have Broad Consequences for Science: The Trump administration has made and is considering several immigration policy changes that could have broad implications for the US scientific research enterprise.  Read More

Read other past issues of the Public Policy News.