Mildred Dresselhaus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama yesterday. The White House explains “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
On Friday, the 106th Congress wrapped its remaining appropriations bills into a consolidated package, sent it to President Clinton, and adjourned. This final appropriations package incorporates the FY 2001 Labor-HHS-Education, Commerce- Justice-State, Treasury-Postal, and Legislative Branch appropriations legislation.
Misconduct Policy More than four and one-half years after discussions began about the development of a research misconduct policy, the Clinton Administration last week issued a final "Federal Policy on Research Misconduct." This government-wide policy is to be implemented by December 6, 2001, with the assistance of a National Science and Technology Council implementation group.
The White House has issued a hard-hitting release critical of the S&T related appropriations bills that are now making their way through the House and Senate. Interspersed throughout this release are references to physical sciences.
The President and First Lady were among the guests gathered in the East Room of the White House last week for the latest Millennium Lecture, this one focusing on the exploration of deep space and the deep ocean. Appearing before them was Dr. Marcia McNutt, who will become president of the American Geophysical Union on July 1, and Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson, a member of the Council of the American Astronomical Union.
"If current trends persist, our nation may begin to fall far short of the talent needed to spur the innovation process that has given America such a strong economy and high quality of life." -- Neal Lane, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
It is well recognized that America's prosperity is due in large measure to its technological prowess. A White House report warns that this might not continue without stronger programs to augment the nation's science, technology, and engineering workforce.
Last Friday, President Clinton delivered a 3,400 word address at Georgetown University explaining his decision not to move ahead with the deployment of a limited National Missile Defense (NMD) system. In addition to diplomatic issues and other considerations, the President discussed the operational effectiveness of the proposed system. Selections from his speech follow.
Test Amendment Last week, the Senate voted 52-48 against an amendment offered by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), to require "operationally- realistic testing against countermeasures for national missile defense." This amendment to the defense authorization act was supported by all Senate Democrats and three Republicans: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and James Jeffords of Vermont.
President Threatens Veto of Restrictive Bill Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Arizona) held a hearing on Tuesday on the recently released draft publication, "Climate Change Impacts on the United States, the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change" (see FYI #69.) This hearing came at about the halfway point of the public comment period for the report.