FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FYI This Month: January 2013

Richard M. Jones
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HIGHLIGHTS OF DEVELOPMENTS IN WASHINGTON IMPACTING THE PHYSICS COMMUNITY FROM FYI, THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS BULLETIN OF SCIENCE POLICY NEWS

2012 in Review: Highlights from FYI

Of Note: Selected Quotations from FYI in 2012

No Resolution in Sight

When viewed in retrospect a decision to delay mandated spending cuts will likely look easy in the context of what are expected to be difficult negotiations over three fiscal deadlines in February and March.

2013 Congressional Calendar

PCAST Discusses Information Technology, Massively Open Online Courses, and Hispanic Student Participation and Business Partnerships in STEM Education

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met to discuss science and technology policy issues, including a report on the US networking and information technology R&D program and examining Massively Open Online Courses.

“A Perfect Storm of Budget Uncertainty”: DOD Responds to Budget Impasse

 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta described the budget uncertainty facing the Pentagon because of the threat of sequestration, short-term flat funding expiring in late March, and the threat of government default.

OMB Issues Memo on FY 2013 Budget Uncertainty

An Office of Management and Budget memorandum provides guidance on dealing with the twin problems of the March 1 implementation of sequestration and the expiration of funding on March 27.

FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 provides policy and budget guidance for the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration.  It does not provide the actual funding, which is contained in the yet to be enacted FY 2013 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. In addition to Science and Technology Programs are the following:

Management and Oversight of the NNSA
Medical Isotopes
National Ignition Facility, CMRR
STEM Education and Workers
Critical Materials

Science Committee Reviews Heliophysics Decadal Survey

The House Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee held a hearing to discuss the work being performed by NASA's Heliophysics Division, focusing on operational aspects of this research and how it affects space weather research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Inauguration Speech on Climate Change, STEM Education, Research Labs, Sustainable Energy and Jobs

The President touched briefly on math and science teachers, research laboratories, the development of sustainable energy sources and new jobs and industry.  He discussed at somewhat greater length climate change and “the overwhelming judgment of science.”

Department of Energy Issues Important Strategic Plan on Nuclear Waste

A document released by the Department of Energy continues to build on a path forward for the management and disposal of the nation’s civilian and defense nuclear waste.

National Research Council Reviews NASA's Strategic Direction

The NRC Committee on NASA’s Strategic Direction addressed the relevance of NASA’s strategic direction as it relates to achieving national priorities, the viability of these plans given the current economic conditions, and the appropriateness of resource allocations among various NASA programs.

Science Committee Hears Perspectives on NASA's Strategic Vision and the Future of the Space Program

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology reviewed the NRC report on the strategic vision for NASA.

Code Red: NASA Safety Panel’s Warning on Funding Uncertainty

The NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel report concluded funding uncertainty and the Commercial Crew Program "are interrelated and of the most concern."

Immigration Reform Would Enhance STEM Workforce

Momentum is increasing to change the way in which visas would be provided to recent college graduates and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095