R&D

In 2003, the number of first-year physics and astronomy graduate students reached the highest level since 1994, according to a report by the American Institute of Physics' Statistical Research Center. The October 2004 report also highlights an upturn in the number of US citizens who are starting graduate school in physics and astronomy, while the numbers of students from China and India continue to grow as well.

9 Nov 2004

The National Science Foundation has a legislative mandate to serve as a clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on science and engineering funding and resources. From the data collected by its Division of Science Resources Statistics, NSF not only puts out major reports but also short "InfoBriefs" that highlight recent findings.

19 Oct 2004

Tighter visa restrictions in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks may not be the only, or even the major, deterrent to foreign students and scholars considering studying or working in the U.S. This was one of the main points to come out of an October 11-12 meeting of the National Academies' Committee on Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States.

14 Oct 2004

At last week's AAAS Candidates' Forum on Science & Technology Policy, the representatives of the campaigns for President George Bush and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) gave fairly familiar answers to questions regarding science policy. (See http://www.aip.org/fyi/2004/134.htmlfor references to several web resources.) One subject not previously addressed attracted considerable attention: the role of scientists in the political process.

7 Oct 2004

"At the root of the opportunities provided by nanoscience to impact our energy security is the fact that all the elementary steps of energy conversion...take place on the nanoscale." - Report of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Workshop on Nanoscience Research for Energy Needs

13 Sep 2004

In an August 12 memorandum to federal department and agency heads, OSTP Director John Marburger and OMB Director Joshua Bolten set out the Bush Administration's R&D budget priorities. Among these priorities in this five-page memo were nanotechnology research and fundamental research in the physical sciences.

26 Aug 2004

A National Academies panel spent a day and a half last month exploring issues related to the presence of foreign graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the U.S. Should the government be encouraging or discouraging international graduate students from studying science and engineering in this country? How have visa policies in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks affected foreign students wanting to study in the U.S.? Is it desirable for such students to remain here as workers after receiving their education, or is it preferable for them to return to their countries of origin?

18 Aug 2004

Over the past few months, federal policymakers have taken a number of actions that deal with science and math education, and with encouraging more students to pursue careers in related fields. In the House, appropriators have marked up bills that would boost appropriations for the Education Department's Math and Science Partnership program, but cut funding for the similar program at NSF. At the Department of Energy, a new science education initiative to provide assistance to teachers and encouragement to students was announced last month.

9 Aug 2004

"Since science is an important component of policymaking, it is imperative that government officials and lawmakers have access to the best technical advice and expertise."- Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)

"When political conflict surrounds a scientific issue, we need to hear an independent and expert view of the evidence." - Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)

4 Aug 2004

The field of physics and its practitioners received commendation on Capitol Hill before Congress left town for August. In recognition that next year has been designated the World Year of Physics by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, on July 7 the House of Representatives passed a resolution in support of physics and physics education. "This resolution encourages the American public to take note of the physics used every day and encourages them to learn more about it," said its sponsor, Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-MI).

3 Aug 2004

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